New Delhi, April 17 : In line with the graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach, the Centre on Saturday granted a fresh supply of ventilators to Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- states reporting a chunk of daily Covid-19 positive cases.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan made the announcement while chairing a high-level review meeting with the Health Ministers of 11 states and UTs.
Organised to review measures taken by the states and UTs for prevention, containment and management of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases,the meeting lasted more than three hours in which Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh took part. These states are reporting an unprecedented surge in new Covid cases.
Reminding the Health Ministers that 34,228 ventilators were granted to the states by the Centre last year, Harsh Vardhan assured a fresh supply of the lifesaving machines: 1,121 ventilators are to be given to Maharashtra, 1,700 to Uttar Pradesh, 1,500 to Jharkhand, 1,600 to Gujarat, 152 to Madhya Pradesh and 230 to Chhattisgarh.
Detailing the number of beneficiaries vaccinated in each targeted segment of the population, the Minister also addressed the perceived issue of vaccine shortage.
The total consumption of vaccines so far (wastage included) has been approximately 12,57,18,000 doses against the 14.15 crore doses provided by the Centre to the states. About 1.58 lakh doses are still available with the states while another 1,16, 84,000 are in pipeline, to be delivered by next week.
"Stocks of every small state are replenished after seven days. For big states, the time period is four days," the Minister added.
Emphasising that "there is no shortage of vaccine", Harsh Vardhan strongly pushed for the further ramping up of vaccination exercise.
Presented a snapshot of unprecedented rise in new cases at the outset, the Minister noted that India reported its highest single-day spike on April 12 which was also the highest number of daily new cases reported in the world.
India contributed 22.8 per cent of the total cases reported worldwide on April 12.
"India is currently reporting the sharpest growth rate of 7.6 per cent in new Covid cases, which is 1.3 times higher than case growth rate of 5.5 per cent reported in June 2020. This is leading to an alarming rise in daily number of active cases, which currently stand at 16,79,000," said the Minister.
There is also a sharp growth of 10.2 per cent in the number of deaths. The widening gap between daily new cases and daily new recoveries reflects that the infection is spreading at a much faster rate than recoveries with consistently growing active cases.
All the 11 states and UTs have already crossed their highest reported daily case threshold with some districts like Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nashik, Thane, Lucknow, Raipur, Ahmedabad and Aurangabad also following the same pattern.
Almost all the states raised the issues of augmenting supply of oxygen cylinders, stepping up supply of Remdesivir in hospitals, adding to the ventilator stock, and enhanced supply of vaccine doses.
Many of them raised the issue of dovetailing the medical oxygen supply lines and the capping of prices of essential drugs like Remdesivir which has been sold in the black market at exorbitant prices.
The double mutant strain in Maharashtra was a key point of concern in the meeting.
The Delhi government requested for additional beds in central government hospitals as was done in 2020 to help tide over the emergent health crisis.
Taking note of the active surge in cases witnessed since last February in which most states have now crossed their highest tally, the Minister exhorted the states to plan in advance and increase Covid hospitals, oxygenated beds and other relevant infrastructure to deal with any further surge in cases.
He requested the states to give special focus on the prominent five-six cities in their administration, map medical colleges to either these cities or adjoining two-three districts.
The states were asked to seek out positive cases with the onset of early symptoms so that prompt and effective treatment checks the deterioration of health in the diseased. Large containment zones for achieving community quarantine were also suggested as a strategy.
The Union Minister reminded the states to send the clinical and epidemiological pictures to assess genomic mutants of the pathogen to the coordinating INSACOG nodal officer and attempt to correlate the public health scenario with the clinical picture.
Health Ministers of states and UTs who joined the meeting included T. S. Singh Deo (Chhattisgarh), Satyendar Jain (Delhi), K. Sudhakar (Karnataka), Prabhuram Choudhary (Madhya Pradesh), Rajesh Tope (Maharashtra), Jai Pratap Singh (Uttar Pradesh), K. K. Shailaja (Kerala), Raghu Sharma (Rajasthan).
Health Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries (Health) of all the states and UTs attended the event virtually.
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