Karnataka makes face mask mandatory for New Year festivities
NEW DELHI: The Centre and state governments will hold mock drills at health
facilities across the country on Tuesday to ensure readiness in the availability of oxygen support and ICU beds, among other measures, in the wake of the Covid-19 alarm due to a surge in infection in many countries. Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya will himself take stock of the mock drill at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.
At a meeting with Indian Medical Association doctors on Monday, Mr Mandaviya said that based previous experience of managing the pandemic, several exercises like a mock drill will help in operational readiness and to fill in the gaps, if any, to strengthen the public health response system.
The exercise will focus on parameters such as availability of health facilities in all districts, capacity of isolation beds, oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds and ventilator-supported beds, and optimal availability of doctors, nurses, paramedics, AYUSH doctors and other frontline workers, including Asha and Anganwadi workers.
It will also focus on human resource capacity in terms of healthcare professionals trained in Covid-19 management, ventilatory management protocol for severe cases, healthcare workers trained in operation of PSA plants. The availability of Advanced and Basic Life Support (ALS/BLS) ambulances, testing equipment, reagents and essential drugs will also be monitored.
In Delhi, senior government officials on Monday visited government hospitals to ascertain their preparedness to deal with any eventuality. The Delhi government also approved a budget of Rs 104 crores for hospitals to procure general medicines as part of preparations to deal with emergency situations. The real-time data on the availability of beds, oxygen cylinders and ventilators will now be
available for the public on a Delhi government portal from Tuesday.
In Karnataka, masks have been made compulsory during the New Year celebrations. State health minister K. Sudhakar said that the celebrations on New Year’s Day should last only till 1 am. “Masks will be compulsory at closed places and air conditioned rooms, and crowded places in outdoor celebrations. There should not be more people than the permitted capacity in places where the celebrations take place,” he said.
India, meanwhile, logged 196 fresh Covid-19 infections, while active cases marginally increased to 3,428 in the last 24 hours. The death toll has gone up to 5,30,695 with two fatalities reconciled by Kerala in the same time span.
As many as 35,173 tests for Covid-19 were conducted in the last 24 hours.