Navneet Sehgal.. Image Source: IANS News

Lucknow, May 17 : After dealing with the second Covid wave successfully, the Uttar Pradesh government is gearing up to stop the third wave of the pandemic. For this, not only beds are being increased in hospitals, but oxygen concentrators have also been arranged in rural areas.

Apart from this, tests are being conducted door-to-door by sending teams, as a result of which UP overcame the second wave successfully and now preparations are afoot to tackle the third wave. Additional Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Information, Navneet Sehgal said this in an exclusive interview with IANS.

Sehgal said that dedicated hospitals for children are being set up in case they get infected. Our entire team is working day and night to ensure that children do not get infected or if they get infections, immediate treatment is made available, he added.

The senior IAS officer said, "Before the third wave comes, the government is all geared up to stop it. For this, dedicated hospitals for women and children are being set up in every district. Paediatric ICUs are being made available, 97,000 monitoring committees have been sent to all the villages which are doing door-to-door screening. For this, 10 lakh medical kits have also been provided. The number of beds has been increased everywhere depending on the instructions of the Chief Minister. Since March, more than 11,000 beds have been made available in the medical colleges and 18,000 in district hospitals, oxygen concentrators are also being arranged for each community health centre (CHC). At least 21,000 concentrators have been sent -- 20 each to each CHC. The state government is fully prepared to deal with any situation. We are recruiting staff, about 700 have been recruited this month only." Sehgal said, "the vaccination drive is going on at a fast pace. So far, 1,16,80,212 people have been given the first dose, and 32,66,076 were given the second dose of the vaccine. A total of 1,49,46,288 vaccines have already been administered. Vaccines have also been administered to 4,14,329 people in the age group of 18-44 years. UP has also floated a global tender for the vaccine".

Sehgal said that it is due to the efforts of the UP government that house-to-house survey was conducted to trace, test and treat Covid patients. It was because of this that the Covid cases which were 38,055 on April 24 have now come down to below 10,000. More than four and a half crore RT-PCR tests were done. Three lakh tests are carried out everyday to identify the infected persons, he said.

In response to a question, Sehgal said that a special drive was carried out to ensure that infections do not spread in rural areas. Members of the monitoring committees are going from village to village to identify persons with symptoms and are giving medical kits immediately. The RRT (Rapid Response Team) is also carrying out antigen tests if the symptoms persist.

On the question of the number of deaths not coming down despite a fall in the infection rate, Sehgal said that it takes a week or ten days for this to happen. Deaths will also come down in the days to come, he said.

When asked how the situation came to this pass and where the government failed, as compared to the first peak, Sehgal said that this time the infections are 30 to 50 times more. It came like a wildfire, more powerful this time engulfing the youths as well. People think of slight fever as a minor issue, that it will be cured soon. This is a misconception, he said. "People should not put their lives in danger by doing things like this. So, now people are being motivated to go to the hospital and get themselves examined. That is why teams have been sent in the rural areas." Sehgal said, "we are supplying 1000 tonnes of oxygen every day. The hospitals here have adequate medical gas. Initially there was a shortage, but the situation is under control now. Plants have been set up in 370 government hospitals which are producing oxygen."

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