News Brief

COVID-19 Preparedness Put To Test In Nationwide Mock Drills: Centre Initiates, States To Participate

Swarajya Staff

Dec 27, 2022, 12:59 PM | Updated 01:17 PM IST

Union Health Minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya oversees Covid-19 mock drill at Safdurjung Hospital in Delhi.
Union Health Minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya oversees Covid-19 mock drill at Safdurjung Hospital in Delhi.

In the wake of rising Covid cases globally, the Union Health Minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, announced mock drills to be held on Tuesday (27 December) across hospitals to check for the preparedness levels against COVID-19 surge.

Dr Mandaviya, while virtually interacting with about 100 doctors from across the country and members of Indian Medical Association (IMA), on 26 December, emphasized that “based on our previous experience of managing this pandemic, we are undertaking several exercises, one such being the mock drill that will happen across the country tomorrow. Such exercises would help our operational readiness, help in filling gaps if any and will consequently strengthen our public health response.”

On Tuesday (27 December), during the nationwide mock drill, the Health Minister visited Safdurjung Hospital in Delhi.

The mock drill aims to evaluate various factors including the availability of health facilities in all districts, the capacity of isolation beds, oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds, and ventilator-supported beds, and the availability of trained healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, AYUSH doctors, ASHA workers, and Anganwadi workers.

They would also assess the capacity of healthcare professionals trained in COVID-19 management, ventilatory management protocols for severe cases, and the operation of PSA plants, as well as the availability of advanced and basic life support (ALS/BLS) ambulances, testing equipment and reagents, and essential drugs.

The Union Health secretary, in a letter, has instructed that follow-up on any gap assessment should be carried out by the additional chief secretary, principal secretary, secretary (health), and/or MD-NHM of the states, who should also personally monitor the exercise under the guidance of the health minister of the respective states.

The pro-active measures taken by the central government, including fast pacing the vaccination programme and genomic sequencing and analysis of COVID-19 viruses, has helped India get back on track, even as countries like China witness a resurgence of the pandemic and health infrastructure crumbling under the rise in cases.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted a high-level meeting to review status and preparedness of public health response to COVID-19.

Prime Minister Modi advised states to audit COVID-19 specific facilities to ensure that hospital infrastructure, including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators, and human resources, are ready for operation.

(with inputs from PTI)

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