Many State and UTs across the country have been reporting a surge since the past few weeks in the cases and deaths caused by COVID-19. The Union Government has been leading the fight against COVID-19 with a ‘Whole of Government” approach through a collaborative strategy of proactively supporting the States in COVID management and public health response measures. As part of this response, several ministries of the Government of India, Empowered Groups, and the Union of Secretaries are working in tandem to manage the situation effectively and to provide all required support to the States/UTs.
A significant measure to substantially augment the hospital infrastructure for effective clinical management of severe COVID-19 patients across the country, the Union Health Ministry has advised all central Ministries to issue instructions to the hospitals under their control or their PSUs to set-up exclusive dedicated hospital wards or separate blocks within the hospitals for COVID Care, as was done last year. These Hospitals/Blocks should have separate entry and exit points for the management of COVID19 cases, to provide treatment services including specialised care for the confirmed COVID19 cases. Additionally, these dedicated hospital wards or blocks have to be equipped to provide all supportive and ancillary services including Oxygen supported beds, ICU beds, ventilators and specialised Critical Care Units (wherever available), laboratory services, imaging services, kitchen, laundry etc., along with dedicated health work force.
In the letter written to the Central Ministries, the Union Health Secretary had reiterated that the present situation of sudden surge in the COVID cases across the country calls for similar supportive action as last year from all such Central Ministries / Departments and their PSUs and the Hospitals under their control.
In order for the public to avail of the required treatment at these hospital wards/blocks, the Central Ministries have been also been advised that details of such dedicated hospital wards/blocks are provided to the public, duly coordinating with the respective health departments of States/UTs and the District Health Administration of the States/Districts wherever these hospitals are located. It has been suggested that a Nodal Officer may be nominated from the Ministry/Department for necessary coordination with the respective States/UTs for this purpose and their contact details be shared with the respective States/UTs as well as the Union Health Ministry.