Number of COVID patients requiring critical care, oxygen down from two days ago: Harsh Vardhan

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NEW DELHI: The percentage of COVID-19 patients requiring critical care and oxygen support has gone down as compared to two days ago, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday after a review meeting with some premier hospitals in the country.

He said that as compared to the figures two days ago, the percentage of COVID-19 patients in ICU is down from 1.93 per cent to 1.75 per cent, those on ventilators down from 0.43 per cent to 0.40 per cent, and those requiring oxygen down from 4.29 per cent to 4.03 per cent.

According to a Health Ministry statement, he said these figures do not diminish the fact that there is anxiety in the general population about availability of beds. It is also important for the nation as a commune to access the best medical facilities at all places.

Vardhan, who chaired a meeting with the Directors of 10 AIIMS, PGIMER-Chandigarh and JIPMER-Puducherry to discuss the public health response to the pandemic, said, “We are the fastest globally to vaccinate. The fatality rate of 1.18 per cent is one of the lowest in the word and is continuously dipping. The present indicators tell us about the significant control we still have on the emerging situation.”

The statement stated that he requested the directors to ensure that those who need hospital care are provided thus and those who are in need of oxygen/ventilators are also tended to. He also asked the officials to explore avenues to monitor patients who may not need hospitalisation through telephonic counselling to re-assure them out of their helplessness.

In this regard, he also said, “AIIMS have a special responsibility towards providing quality healthcare. You have to ensure that all the hospital facilities are functional. The present capacities can be augmented by re-purposing non-COVID infrastructure to COVID facilities, such that non-COVID healthcare is not unduly affected.”

He reminded them that the Union Health Secretary had advised for the strengthening of the hospital infrastructure after careful review. Vardhan observed that all the institutes combined have increased 879 general beds and 219 ICU beds.

In this regard, he also spoke of the recent attempt by DRDO to open a 500-bed facility in Delhi and the Council Of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Building Research Institute (CSIR–CBRI)’s attempts to make temporary but durable hospital blocks at the Safdarjung Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College to house more patients, the statement said.

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