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WHO to set up mobile hospitals to help India tackle covid-19 crisis

The apex global public health agency said that it is filling critical gaps in essential medical supplies and hospital capacities should be top priority as India battles surge in covid-19 cases. (REUTERS)Premium
The apex global public health agency said that it is filling critical gaps in essential medical supplies and hospital capacities should be top priority as India battles surge in covid-19 cases. (REUTERS)

  • The bed capacity at these field hospitals can be increased to a maximum of 50, if needed, without impacting infection prevention and control protocols, and water and sanitation, the WHO said

In a bid to help India in tackling the swelling burden of covid-19 patients amidst shortage of hospital beds, testing equipment, oxygen and medicines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it is procuring mobile field hospitals with capacity of 20-30 beds, which could be set up in the most affected areas.

The bed capacity at these field hospitals can be increased to a maximum of 50, if needed, without impacting infection prevention and control protocols, and water and sanitation, the WHO said.

With daily reports of people dying in hospitals without oxygen, the WHO is also chartering flights to bring in 4,000 oxygen concentrators to help meet the increased demands.

The apex global public health agency said that it is filling critical gaps in essential medical supplies and hospital capacities should be top priority as India battles surge in covid-19 cases. “The current rapid surge of covid-19 cases has put immense pressure on the health systems, already overburdened since the start of the pandemic. We need to act with speed, expand hospital capacities and equip them with medical supplies, most needed to save lives," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.

In addition, health authorities must emphasize on rational use of drugs and oxygen, to ensure lifesaving interventions are made available to only to those who need it, the Regional Director said.

The WHO is also procuring laboratory supplies, including 1.2 million reagents, to meet the huge demand and need for testing.

“Over 2600 WHO technical staff, working on various programmes such as polio, TB and NTD, have been repurposed to support pandemic response in India. In the recent surge, they are supporting with rapid situational analyses, and implementation of tailored responses," said Khetarpal.

At least 3,79,257 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours. Ten States including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan report 72.20% of the new cases.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 63,309. It is followed by Karnataka with 39,047 while Kerala reported 35,013 new cases. India’s total Active Caseload has reached 30,84,814. It now comprises 16.79% of the country's total Positive Cases. A net incline of 1,06,105 cases recorded from the total active caseload in the last 24 hours.

Eleven states cumulatively account for 78.26% of India’s total Active Cases. 3,645 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the union health ministry data showed. Ten States account for 78.71% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (1,035). Delhi follows with 368 daily deaths, the government said.

“There has been a sudden jump in the number of cases in the past one month but recoveries are also increasing as the same speed and people are getting better. We need to work towards improving diagnosis and help as many people as possible using teleconsultations to provide right advise to the patients recovering at home and provide necessary medications for a speedy recovery," Harsh Vardhan said.

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