Sun, 11 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): Supporting the Centre's decision to order fresh mock drills in hospitals across the country to test their Covid preparedness, amid rising cases, former director of AIIMS, Delhi, Dr Randeep Guleria on Thursday said the drills would be a timely test of the prevailing healthcare infrastructure and keep people in the loop about an outbreak.

"It is always better to be ready. Preparations should be complete. So, I believe that mock drills are always good because we test the system if there is any outbreak or surge in cases," Dr Guleria, who is currently the chairman, Institute of Internal Medicine, RespiratorySleep Medicine, Director-Medical Education, Medanta, said.

However, he also said that, so far, there hasn't been an uptick in hospital admissions.

Earlier on Thursday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that a mock drill will be done soon in all the states and Union Territories to assess their preparedness to meet the twin threats, of influenza and Covid-19 cases, to public health.

Addressing a press conference in the national capital on Thursday, Bhushan said, "India on Thursday recorded 1,300 new Covid cases, the highest in the last 140 days. We will get a fresh round of mock drills done in all states and UTs in order to assess their individual Covid preparedness."Earlier, on December 27, a mock drill was conducted at hospitals across the country to test their Covid preparedness.

The Union Health secretary informed further that India, for now, was accounting for just 1 per cent of the global Covid cases.

"Only about 1 per cent of the global Covid cases are being reported in India as of now. The overall active cases currently stand at 7,600 while 966 cases, on average, are being reported on a daily basis. In the second week of February, we recorded only about 108 daily cases on average. But the average daily count has since gone up to 966," the Union Health secretary said.

According to reports, the eight states where the maximum number of Covid cases are being reported currently are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

"I had personally written to these states on March 16 on the steps that need to be taken," Bhushan added.

As is the case with any virus, SARS-COV-2 has been acquiring new mutations through recombination.

"There has been no evidence yet of an increase in hospitalisation. However, the administration of precautionary doses should be increased. Enhanced laboratory surveillance and testing of all severe acute respiratory (SARI) cases need to be done," he said.

He added that the United States, Russia, China South Korea and France are driving the global Covid surge currently.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) advised all the states to continue focusing on the 5-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour amid a rise in Covid-19 cases.

The ministry also asked the states to ensure the availability of key drugs and logistics at healthcare facilities for the treatment of Influenza and Covid 19 cases.

States have been directed to ensure the availability of sufficient beds and health workers to deal with the viral surge. (ANI)

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