New Delhi : Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare reviewed in person the preparedness of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi for clinical management of the severe COVID19 patients. He has been personally reviewing the management of COVID19 in the Central Hospitals that serve Delhi and had also visited the Lady Hardinge Medical College recently.
In view of the unprecedented surge in daily COVID19 cases, uninterrupted requirement of oxygen, oxygen supported and ICU beds in addition to adequate supply of medicines and trained manpower has increased manifold in the Capital. The Government of India in line with its pro-active and graded approach has continuously reviewed the emerging situation in Delhi. TheUnion Government continues to lead the fight against the COVID19 pandemic in collaboration with the States and UT through a “Whole of Government” approach.
At the outset, the Union Health Minister visited the vaccination centre inside the hospital and interacted with the beneficiaries getting vaccinated and those being monitored for AEFI post vaccination. They all assured him that the entire process was smooth. Persons being monitored for AEFI informed that they did not feel any difficulty after their vaccination.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Everybody should take the second dose of vaccination for full protection and follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour and necessary precautions even after their second dose.” Through the media, he alsoappealed to the States to keep 70% of vaccines they receive under ‘GoI’ channel for the second dose.
Thereafter, he interacted with the healthcare workers and expressed his deep gratitude for their unflinching commitment to work throughout the Pandemic. He also informed them of the recent decisions of the Government to increase the Medical Workforce which is likely to reduce their workload manifold.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan reviewed in detail the beds availability including oxygen supported and the ICU-ventilators beds. Medical Superintendent, Dr A K Singh Rana informed regarding the steps being taken for augmenting the beds availability to cater to immediate needs of COVID patients. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital initially had 172 COVID beds in two dedicated buildings out of which 158 were COVID Oxygen beds and 14 Covid ICU beds. The COVID suspect block which admitted patients based solely on COVID symptomshad another 44 beds out of which 30 were oxygenated beds and 14 were ICU beds. During the recent upsurge of Corona, the number of COVID beds has been increased to 215 by adding 33 new COVID oxygen beds and taking into account the 10 suspected COVID ICU beds for the treatment of those with COVID unconfirmed.
They also informed of plans to add another 200 COVID beds as was suggested by the Union Health Minister immediately after the relocation of non-COVID patients, development of donning and doffing area and completion of rearrangement of manpower currently underway. All these beds will be oxygen supported with some being modified to be COVID ICU beds.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan concluded his visit by inspecting the Oxygen Generation Plant set up by DRDO. There are two liquid oxygen chambers at the hospital, one with a capacity of 12 MT another with a capacity of 10 MT. The staff and the relatives of patients expressed deep satisfaction at the early installation of the high flow 1000 litres/minute plant which will substantially supplement the existing oxygen availability.
Speaking on the increased demand of Oxygen in the Delhi, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Against 35,66398 active cases as on 5th May, Union Government has allocated 9542 MT oxygen to 25 high burden States/UTs, including Delhi.” He also spoke on the plan to have PSA Oxygen plant (like the one at RML) throughout the country: “Out of ongoing 162 PSA plants installed under PMCARES fund, 94 have been delivered out of which 71 have been installed. A total of 109 will be installed by the end of May. The government has sanctioned additional 1051 PSA plants to be delivered by different agencies such as DRDO/CSIR and HLL Infra Tech Services Limited(HITES). The site preparation of these plants will be assisted centrally by agencies such as NHAI and CPWD. All these plants will be completed within a period of three months.”
Addressing the issue of shortage of Oxygen cylinders, he said, “Last year 1,02,400 oxygen cylinders were procured and distributed to States. This year, orders for 1,27000 oxygen cylinders (D type Jumbo and B type small) have been placed and delivery to States started. 31,800 out of these will be distributed in May 2021 itself.”
The Minister was accompanied by Dr A K Singh Rana, Medical Superintendent, Dr. MPS Chawla, HoD Medicine, Dr. Amit Suri, CMO, Respiratory Medicine and other senior officials of RML Hospital and DRDO.