Khattar calls late evening 'emergency meeting' of officials on COVID issue

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Chandigarh, May 17 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar summoned an 'emergency meeting' of senior officials here on late Monday evening and directed them to make special arrangements for the containment of coronavirus in rural areas.

After conducting a whirlwind tour in various districts, including Gurgaon, for the last two days to take stock of things in the wake of the second coronavirus wave, Khattar convened an 'emergency meeting at late night with the senior officers of all the departments, including Health Department as soon as he reached Chandigarh'.

Stating this, a state government statement said during the meeting, the chief minister gave necessary directions to the officers concerned.

The chief minister directed the officers concerned to make special arrangements for the containment of virus spread in rural areas, it said.

Khattar had recently said that the state government was launching various measures, including setting up isolation centres in the villages as part of containment measures to check spread of the virus in the rural belt.

In a review meeting held here recently, Khattar had said the COVID-19 spread is not confined to urban areas only, it is also hitting rural areas hard.

'Those patients who do not have home isolation arrangements should immediately be shifted to nearest isolation centres set up in the rural areas,' he said at the Monday's meeting. 'All panchayats should make proper arrangements including adequate availability of beds and food facilities in these isolation centres that are being set up in their villages.' He said specially-designed home isolation kits should also be provided to the patients living in home isolation.

Pulse oximeters should be provided to each such family, he directed.

The dedicated COVID-19 hospitals should be constantly monitored and the patients from rural areas should be sent to these facilities so that they can get the timely benefit of proper required healthcare in these hospitals, he said.

Khattar directed the officers that special emphasis should be given in rural areas so that the virus spread chain can be broken, while more attention should also be paid so that the number of positive cases in urban areas do not rise.

Khattar was apprised by the officials that out of 8,000 teams constituted for conducting door-to-door health check-ups in rural areas, about 2500 teams already visited the villages and more than 10 lakh rural population has been covered so far.

'More than 15,000 tests have been conducted, in which about 7 per cent positive cases have been reported. Other teams will also reach the villages in the next two-three days,' the chief minister was apprised.

It was informed that more than 30,000 pulse oximeters and 10,000 thermal scanners have been given to these teams.

He was further apprised that so far about 8,000 oxygen cylinders have been supplied at the doorsteps of the COVID-19 patients in the state who are in home isolation and patients having other health issues who need oxygen cylinders at their homes.

An estimated time of about 6 to 8 hours is taken for the supply of these oxygen cylinders after demand is raised.

The chief minister said that timely delivery of oxygen cylinders to each such household should be ensured and the supply time should not be more than 2-3 hours.

Police Control Room vans should also be used to deliver oxygen cylinders in an emergency, he directed.

During the meeting, the chief minister also reviewed black fungus disease cases, which are being seen in some of the COVID patients.

He was apprised that till now, more than 100 cases of black fungus have been reported in Haryana. Four medical colleges have been identified for its treatment. PTI SUN VSD HMB

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