Less than two per cent coronavirus patients in the country are admitted in ICUs while the number of recovered cases exceeds that of the active ones by 2,81,668 as on Thursday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said as India's COVID-19 tally surged to 9.68 lakh while the death toll climbed to 24,915.
Vardhan's remarks came after he inaugurated the new block of the Rajkumari Amrit Kaur OPD on Thursday at the AIIMS here along with Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
"Gradually we are moving in the direction to win the battle against the pandemic. Less than two per cent of the COVID-affected patients are admitted in ICUs," Vardhan said, elaborating on the country's collective efforts against coronavirus, a health ministry statement said.
The lab network has been strengthened significantly from one in January to 1,234 laboratories presently, the statement said.
A cumulative total of 1,27,39,490 samples have been tested up to July 15. A total of 3,26,826 samples were tested on Wednesday, it said.
The testing capacity will be further enhanced to 10 lakh tests per day in the coming 12 weeks, Vardhan said, adding that this was matched with the progressively increasing recovered cases and the steadily increasing gap between recovered and active cases.
"This signifies that the measures taken as part of the graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach under the 'Whole of Government' strategy is showing positive results," he said.
Vardhan also asked Director, AIIMS and other officials to expedite the operationalisation of the Mother and Child Block, Elderly Block and Surgery Block so that people can reap health benefits at the earliest, the ministry's statement said.
The minister urged officials and heads of departments to undertake detailed and collective brainstorming sessions to assess and analyse the innovative steps that can be taken for ensuring that all the patients who come to AIIMS, New Delhi get the best quality healthcare.
"There must be zero tolerance for poor/substandard quality of care and towards patients' inconvenience," he stressed while urging them to brainstorm and propose patient-friendly reforms.
The ministers inspected the OPDs and interacted with patients to take stock of the facilities.
Built in an area of approximately 6,300 sqm, RAK OPD is the largest known OPD in India. The new RAK OPD Block also has a SMART Lab, built at a cost of Rs 15 crore.
The lab connects the various analyzers and technologies in a single integrated workflow, the statement said, adding that the pre-analytics, analytics and post analytics are all physically connected by a robotic track and are seamlessly integrated by technology.
It has a capacity of expansion for up to two lakh tests per day, with a handling capacity of more than 10,000 patients per day, the statement said.
It is one of the largest such track-based laboratory automation installations across Asia Pacific and has been commissioned in less than one year, it said.
According to a statement issued by AIIMS, the RAK OPD at the south east of the Masjid Moth campus of the premier hospital has been designed and built with wide circulation spaces and well ventilated waiting areas, adequate to accommodate a footfall of 15,000 patients per day.
The structure has a ground floor, eight other floors and three basements. Each floor of the building covers an area of approximately 6,300 sqm making it the largest known OPD in India.
"It has been made to decongest the working space at AIIMS and to provide faster and seamless service to its patients. This will also make room for the expansion of some services like emergency and nuclear medicine in the main hospital," the statement said.
The RAK OPD houses 18 departments -- 16 of them clinical and two diagnostic with 270 consultation rooms, 13 minor OTs and 50 treatment and procedure rooms.
A dialysis facility, day-care for rheumatology and haematology patients, pain clinic, an endoscopic suite, laser and cosmetic surgery OTs for dermatological day care procedures are some of the unique features of this OPD, the AIIMS said.
It has a waiting area for 800-1,000 patients on each floor. Special provisions for elderly and differently-abled i.e. queue preference, toilets, anti-skid tiles have been put in place.