Govt being ready for third wave with more oxygen beds in 6 states.
More than 50% of pediatric oxygen beds, approved under the Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package, which are being rolled out to prepare in advance for a likely third wave, will be installed in six states that have predominantly rural and peri-urban population, according to the final plan approved on Friday.
Rural areas of the country were among the worst affected during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic.
Under the package’s final plan, six states will get 60 percent of the 75,218 beds that will be installed to scale the three-tier health systems down to the village level. The six states are Uttar Pradesh (11,770), Bihar (9,920), Andhra Pradesh (9,596), Odisha (8,206), Assam (7,320), and Jharkhand (5,798).
There is apprehension from various quarters that children could be the most vulnerable group in a possible third wave of Covid-19. On Friday, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in consultation with the states, approved the creation of 19,030 pediatric oxygen beds and 10,428 pediatric ICU beds, with the aim of increasing the pediatric care infrastructure at the district level.
The granular data from the final plan shows that six states will obtain funding to establish more than 1,000 pediatric oxygen beds: UP (3,270), Madhya Pradesh (1,900), Maharashtra (1,500), Jharkhand (1,080), Bihar (1,060), and Chhattisgarh (1,020).
According to the plan, of the 10,428 pediatric ICUs to be established, eight states will obtain funding to install more than 450 beds: MP (1,704), UP (1,476), Maharashtra (684), Tamil Nadu (516), Rajasthan (492), Jharkhand (468) and Bihar (456).
Government sources said the final plan was made based on the experience of the states in the second wave, which saw high demand for oxygen beds.
Based on the inputs received by the states on the experience of the second wave related to the availability of beds, the Center approved the plan for the creation of 23,056 ICU beds. Under the plan, seven states will establish more than 1,000 beds each: UP (4,007), Karnataka (3,021), Maharastra (2,970), West Bengal (1,874), Tamil Nadu (1,583), MP (1,138) and Andhra Pradesh. (1,120).
On July 22, Rs 1,827.80 crore was delivered to states as a 15 percent advance to carry out preparatory activities to implement the Health System Preparedness and Emergency Response Package. On Friday, after approval of the final plan, another 35 percent of the funds were released, the Health Ministry said.
According to the final plan, 5,749 life support ambulances will be added; and 433 RT PCR labs will be built to further expand testing facilities. Under the final plan, four states will get more than 30 new RT PCR labs: Gujarat (66), Madhya Pradesh (46), Bihar (38) and Uttar Pradesh (30).
The final plan, for the first time, has also approved telemedicine-compatible hubs. Of the 733 centers to be established, Rajasthan (359), West Bengal (86) and Bihar (38) will establish the maximum number of telemedicine centers.