New Delhi: The Delhi government on Monday approved a budget of Rs 104 crore for hospitals to procure general medicines as part of preparations to deal with emergency situations amid a surge in Covid cases in some countries.
At a review meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia directed the heads of government hospitals to share details of beds, ventilators, ICUs, human resources, oxygen plants, and medical logistics with the Health department by the evening.
“The surge in Covid cases globally is a matter of concern for everyone. Delhi hospitals have been asked to prepare well in advance and stay vigilant.
“An amount of Rs 104 crore has been approved to ensure that there is no shortage of any medicines at government hospitals and they are well prepared to deal with any situation,” a statement quoted Sisodia as saying.
A mock drill will be organised at all the hospitals on Tuesday to ensure the health facilities’ readiness for the management of Covid following the Centre’s directions, the deputy chief minister added.
He said any gaps would be addressed immediately by Health department officials.
The mock drill will assess bed availability, manpower, referral resources, testing capacity, medical logistics, telemedicine services, and medical oxygen, among others.
Real-time data on the availability of beds, oxygen cylinders and ventilators will be available for the public on a Delhi government portal from Tuesday, officials said.
An official said testing was also likely to be ramped up soon. At present, around 2,500 to 3,000 tests are being conducted daily in the city.
Meetings are being held with residents’ welfare organisations and non-government organisations, which are being asked to create awareness about the emerging situation.
Last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the new Omicron sub-variant BF.7 of the coronavirus, which is causing a surge in cases in some countries, had not been detected in Delhi so far and that his government was fully geared to tackle any eventuality.
Instructions have been issued to send samples from all positive cases for genome sequencing, increase precaution dose coverage and manpower in hospitals.
Kejriwal had also directed officials to take prior approval for procurement of essential items needed and inspect the machines in all hospitals.
The chief minister had asserted that they were self-sufficient in terms of oxygen availability and storage.
During the second Covid wave last year, Delhi had grappled with oxygen shortage with hospitals sending out SOS messages over depleting supplies on social media.
However, experts say the BF.7 sub-strain should not worry India too much as a lot of people have developed immunity against the virus — either through vaccination or previous infection — unlike China where people have low immunity due to tough restrictions.