Guj plans to double number of beds, ventilators to tackle third wave

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Ahmedabad, Jul 2 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Friday informed the High Court that it will significantly enhance the medical infrastructure to face a possible third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and will almost double the number of oxygen beds, ICU beds and ventilators.

The government submitted an affidavit before a special bench of Justices Bela Trivedi and Bhargav Karia which is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the pandemic situation in the state (which the HC has taken up on its own) and related petitions.

As per the 'Third Wave Preparedness Plan For Covid-19' laid out in the affidavit, the number of COVID-19 hospitals, including private ones, will be increased from the present 1,800 to 2,400 if the need arises.

Oxygen beds will be increased from 61,000 to 1.10 lakh and ICU beds from 15,000 to 30,000, it said. The government has also planned to add 8,000 ventilators, taking the total to 15,000.

To ramp up the medical oxygen production, the number of PSA (pressure swing adsorption) plants will be increased from 24 to 400, the affidavit said.

During the second wave, the peak use of medical oxygen was around 1,150 MT per day, and it can touch 1,800 MT in a third wave as per the government's projections. To meet the demand, state PSUs will produce 400 MT of additional oxygen per day and the number of oxygen concentrators will be increased from 700 to 10,000, said the affidavit.

The state government will also add 1,500 `Dhanvantari Raths', mobile vans which provide non-COVID essential healthcare services at the doorstep.

As many as 2.25 lakh people will be tested for coronavirus daily, twice the number during the second wave. The government has also done planning to provide treatment to 60,000 persons per day, double the second wave average.

Other planned steps include setting up a command and control room to monitor Covid-related activities in each district, a dashboard for real-time updates about bed availability and appointment of a nodal officer in every hospital for COVID-19 patients, said the affidavit.

Further hearing will be held on July 9. PTI PJT KRK KRK

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