Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviews Delhi’s Covid preparedness

New Delhi | Updated on May 02, 2021

To make available information on availability of beds, medicines through dedicated websites and apps

Delhi must ramp up medical infrastructure at the earliest to cater to the increasing demand for Covid beds, ICUs and ventilators, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said on Sunday.

At a meeting convened to review various aspects of Covid-19 preparedness in Delhi, Gauba also stressed the need to make available all relevant information on Covid beds and other facilities/medicine availability to the public, through dedicated websites/apps on the basis of which people in need of such facilities/medicines can approach the right place.

Single helpline should be created at the front-end to provide relevant clinical information to the needy people and should be popularised, Gauba said. He said that the helpline can be serviced through a dedicated and well staffed call centre.

Officials of the government of NCT of Delhi made a presentation covering recent trends in active cases, deaths and positivity rate: availability and expansion plans of medical infrastructure; status of oxygen availability; home isolation procedures and helpline; ambulance services; and testing. The meeting was also attended by the home secretary, VK Paul Member Niti Aayog, chief secretary of Delhi and other senior officials of the government of Delhi besides senior officials of Health Ministry and Commissioners of municipal corporations of Delhi and chairman NDMC.

On issues related to availability of oxygen, the cabinet secretary expressed his anguish at recent instances, where people had suffered due to lack of adequate and timely availability of oxygen. He asked the Delhi government to make all out efforts to lift their allocated oxygen, using all the means at their disposal; and to ensure that the oxygen available to them is distributed rationally and in a transparent manner so that there is no diversion or leakage. On the issue of adequate medical and healthcare human resources, he asked the Delhi government to create flexible procedures to engage the services of retired medical professionals. Gauba also asked for further augmentation of testing facilities and timely availability of test results.

Union Health Ministry official stressed the need to restart the earlier practice of transparent electronic displays, at each hospital site, of the number of beds available in that facility for Covid patients. The Additional Secretary, Health also emphasised the need for setting up oxygen audit committees in various hospitals and medical facilities.

V.K. Paul emphasised the seriousness of the present situation and recommended that small nursing homes and hospitals be roped in for augmenting the medical infrastructure of the Capital. He asked for Covid Care Centres to be opened in hotels and similar places, in line with the protocol.

In order to supplement the 24x7 helpline of the Delhi Government, he recommended that the Delhi Medical Association be requested to offer around 50 doctors, who can voluntarily provide medical consultation to Covid-19 patients. The helpline/ medical professional can provide guidance on use of medicines, oxygen concentrators and other medical facilities, he said.

Published on May 02, 2021

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