Delhi Lays Out Plan To Tackle Possible Third Wave Of Covid-19
New Delhi: The Delhi government will enhance its health infrastructure, including ICU beds, medical oxygen, medicines etc for the possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, bracing for around 37,000 cases in a day.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain held a meeting with two expert committees on Friday over a possible third wave. The discussions were largely on setting objective criteria for hospitals beds, oxygen management and overall efforts which will be needed if daily Covid cases witnesses an unprecedented surge.
During the second wave, Delhi had witnessed the highest coronavirus cases in a day – 28,395 on April 20, and with a massive surge of daily cases the health infrastructure was overwhelmed and reached a near collapse stage.
Kejriwal said on Saturday that health management is not just focused on enhancing ICU beds in the hospitals, but on many other key factors too which need to be prepared in advance, especially availability of oxygen stock.
He said with an expected third wave of Covid-19, 420 tonnes of oxygen storage capacity is being prepared. “We have also spoken to Indraprastha Gas Limited to produce 150 tonnes of oxygen, which however, will take at least 18 months, but we have to prepare. Apart from it, the Delhi government will also procure 25 oxygen supplier tankers,” Kejriwal added.
The Delhi government has also decided to set up two genome sequencing labs for detection of new variants, if there will be any. “Two genome sequencing labs to be set up, one at LNJP hospital and another at RGSS to know if there are old variants or new variants of coronavirus. It will help doctors to give treatment to the patients accordingly,” Kejriwal announced.
Along with oxygen and ICU beds, the Delhi health management this time will also be ready to ensure availability of Covid-19 drugs and also to avoid unnecessary rush of people in search of medicines in the markets.
“Last time (during 2nd wave) it was observed that Covid-19 medicines were being prescribed through WhatsApp messages and whenever new messages were issued, people had to rush to procure that particular drug and at the end there was a shortage of medicines. Therefore, we have decided to set up a team of doctors and experts to examine the demand of medicines to tackle panic and the WhatsApp forwards of medicines,” Kejriwal said.
Apart from all these preparations, the Delhi government has also set up a paediatric task force to decide the number of beds, ICU facilities and other equipment needed especially for children. “A long discussion was held with the task force on various issues on Friday and it has been directed to submit its recommendations in the next two weeks. This task force will especially work on children, if the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic affects them in large numbers. We will have separate wards in hospitals, ICU beds, oxygen cylinders and masks etc for children,” Kejriwal added.