Uttar Pradesh to hire retired army, medical colleges’ doctors for Covid duty
The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to hire doctors retired from the armed forces, medical colleges and government medical services as the requirement of physicians to treat Covid-19 patients is increasing in hospitals across the state. A senior state government official said that third and fourth year MBBS students in 24 government and 33 private medical colleges in the state will also be pulled in for duty at Covid hospitals.
The state government has also decided to set up liquid oxygen tanks and air separation plants in all government and private medical colleges to meet the shortage of the life-saving gas for treatment of Covid-19 patients, the official added.
The principal secretary of the medical education department, Alok Kumar said isolation and intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity in government and private medical colleges was being increased periodically. He claimed 9,000 beds, including 6,000 isolation and 2,705 ICU beds had been added to Covid-treatment facilities in the state since March 1, when the capacity stood at 18,181 beds.
He said more doctors and other healthcare staff were needed to man the additional capacity installed at hospitals and that the existing medical staff was stretched while providing round the clock services. In recognition of their contribution UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced 25% extra salary as honorarium for doctors and nursing staff on Covid duty at government-run hospitals in the state. A range of other frontline health and sanitation workers will also be given additional emoluments, an official statement said.
The Covid-19 infection count in the state on Monday recorded a slight fall to go under 30,000—first instance since April 28. Similarly, fresh infections reported in Lucknow on Monday were less than 3,100 after a gap of 24 days, as per the official data. The state reported 29,192 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking its total case count to 1,342,413 while the death toll reached 13,447 with 288 more fatalities, the data showed.
Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Amroha and Meerut are among the worst-hit districts in UP.
In Meerut, family members of patients went on a rampage at Nutema hospital on Sunday after five Covid-19 infected patients allegedly died due to low pressure of oxygen during the treatment. In Agra, family members of patients thrashed hospital staff when the supply of oxygen got disrupted. Reports of oxygen shortage were received from several other districts in Uttar Pradesh such as Noida, Lucknow, Bareilly and Varanasi but the officials said there was no panic.
To ensure smooth supply of oxygen, the state has decided to set up liquid oxygen tanks and air separation plants in all government and private medical colleges. Air separator plants will be set up in the 17 government medical colleges in the first phase. The state’s Medical Education Department has also decided to procure oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders to meet the shortfall, Kumar said.