Set up Covid helpline for hospital beds, states told
The Centre has directed the states to set up a centralised call centre-based service for allocation of hospital beds for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients, as people are facing acute bed shortages in many parts of the country because of rising cases.
The states have also been asked to maintain a real-time record of available beds for the convenience of people looking for a hospital bed.
Rajesh Bhushan, Union health secretary, held a high-level meeting with representatives of all states and Union territories regarding infrastructure augmentation for effective clinical treatment of hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
The states were advised to review their existing hospital and other Covid-19 treatment infrastructure in the light of daily new cases, daily fatalities and those that would require hospitalisation.
“Identify additional dedicated Covid-19 hospitals and prepare field hospital facilities either through DRDO, CSIR or similar agencies in the public and private sector… Deploy requisite Human Resources with proper Training & mentoring of doctors and nurses for management of patients and Strengthening ambulance services. Establish sufficient referral linkages for districts with deficit infrastructure through deployment of additional ambulances...,” the states were told.
In terms of Covid-19 vaccination, the states were asked to make suitable arrangements for accommodating a large crowd as the cohort of eligible beneficiaries has been substantially increased to include those 18 years and above from May 1.
“The states and UTs would have to make the necessary preparations, well in advance, to ensure that the eligible citizens are able to access the vaccination services seamlessly and conveniently. Since, the cohort of eligible beneficiaries has been significantly enhanced, suitable arrangements must be made to avoid overcrowding and consequent law and order situations at the vaccination centres,” Bhushan wrote to all states and Union territories.
It will be mandatory for all government and private vaccination centres to register on the CoWIN platform, regardless of the source of vaccine doses. It will also be mandatory for all centres to record all vaccinations, issue digital vaccination certificates, and report all adverse events following immunisations on the Co-WIN system that is the backbone of the vaccine delivery management system.
The eligibly criteria for any centre to conduct Covid-19 vaccinations remain the same. The facility should have sufficient cold chain equipment and capacity; sufficient room to act as the waiting, vaccination, and post vaccination observation area; sufficient number of vaccinators and verifiers; and ability to manage the adverse events following immunisation as per the norms.
There is a special provision for registration of industrial establishments as vaccination centres provided they fulfil the criteria laid down by the Union health and family ministry.
“Wherever an industrial establishment has a hospital that is eligible for registration as a Covid vaccination centre… it can register on CoWIN as an industrial establishment CVC, with mapping to any other existing private CVC… The state government may designate an appropriate authority at state/district level that will ensure only eligible facilities as per the criteria are registered on CoWIN as CVC.The designated authority must take a decision on registration, within in two days of the receipt of application…,” the health ministry has directed.