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Are we ready for Covid spike? Hospitals across India hold drill | India News

NEW DELHI: In light of increased Covid caution in the wake of several countries witnessing a sharp rebound in infections, pandemic preparedness drills were conducted across India on Tuesday to check the readiness of hospitals to deal with any potential spurt in the number of cases.
Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who visited Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi to review the Covid-response drill, said the exercise was necessary to know how prepared the hospitals were. “Covid cases are rising all over the world and India might witness a spike in cases too. Hence it is important that the entire Covid infrastructure in terms of equipment, processes and human resources are at a state of operational readiness,” he said.
Clinical readiness at hospitals “is crucial”, the health minister said while noting that government as well as private hospitals are undertaking the drills. State health ministers are reviewing the drills in their own states, he said. They took stock in their respective states and shared information on available beds, oxygen support and other equipment, medicines, vaccines, etc.
Cautioning against complacency, he urged everyone to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. He also asked people to refrain from sharing unverified information.
Mandaviya visited the 44-bedded Covid centre at Safdarjung Hospital, the triage and testing area which has been created by the hospital along with a ‘severe acute respiratory infection’ ward in the makeshift facility which already existed. He also interacted with hospital officials and instructed them to be prepared for any fresh outbreak.
There are “enough funds” allocated for Covid and states have been given funds to make all arrangements, he added.
In Maharashtra, state authorities said, drills to assess preparedness for treating Covid-19 cases were conducted at about 1,300 health facilities. “A review of available hospital beds, ICU facilities, equipment, oxygen system, medicine stocks, human resources and their training and telemedicine facility was taken,” state health officials said.
Similar drills were also carried out in other states like Karnataka, Jharkhand and Gujarat among others.
Karnataka health minister Sudhakar, who reviewed the drill at some of the hospitals, called on people to join hands with the government and follow precautionary measures, while making it clear that there is no proposal to impose restrictions that will hamper economic activities. Sudhakar visited hospitals in Hubballi and Dharwad to inspect the drill. “There are about 8.5 lakh doses of Covid vaccine available in the state and I urge everyone to get the third dose,” Sudhakar said.
Gujarat has prepared a comprehensive plan and reviewed the preparedness of the existing health infrastructure in case of any eventuality on the pandemic front. Jharkhand health minister Banna Gupta reviewed the preparedness in the Ranchi district hospital, according to a statement issued by the minister’s office in Jamshedpur.