Carry out dry runs in hospitals, Centre tells states amid growing Covid scare

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New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The Union Health Ministry on Friday asked states and UTs to carry out dry runs in the hospitals to remain prepared for any surge in Covid cases.

The ministry also asked them to ensure effective compliance of the detailed operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy for Covid-19 as shared by it.

“To take stock of existing hospital capacities in terms of bed availability, logistic requirements as well as need for re-orientation of healthcare workers in clinical management of Covid-19 to remain prepared for any surge in cases. This may be tested by conducting dry runs in hospitals”, said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in the letter to the states and UTs.

Following the directions from the ministry, the country-wide mock drills are expected to be carried out on December 27.

The letter reads further that considering the upcoming festive season and New Year celebrations, there is need to put in place requisite public health measures and other arrangements to minimise risk of increase in transmission of the disease by maintaining and strengthening focus on TestTrack-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour i.e. use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene and adherence to physical distancing.

The Health Ministry has also asked the states to ensure monitoring and reporting of district wise influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases in all health facilities on a regular basis including in the IHIP portal, for detecting the early rising trend of cases. These cases may also be tested for Covid-19.

“Ensure adequate testing in all the districts as per Covid-19 testing guidelines maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests”, the letter reads.

The Health Secretary has asked the states to ensure higher samples for whole genome sequencing amongst positive samples of Covid-19 in the community, so as to enable timely detection of new variants, if any, in the country.

“In terms of preparedness for upcoming festivities, it is essential that all measures are put in place with relevant stakeholders like event organisers, business owners, market associations, etc. to avoid overcrowding, ensure adequate ventilation, especially in indoor settings, wearing of masks in such places where crowds congregate,” reads the letter.

–IANS

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