Number of oxygen supported beds, ICU beds increased in country: Choubey

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) The number of oxygen supported beds in the country has increased from 62,458 in April, 2020 to 1,57,344 as on January 28 this year, while the number of ICU beds has risen from 27,360 to 36,008 during the same period, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said.

There were 13,158 ventilators as on April 21, 2020 which have increased to 23,619 as on January 28, 2021, Choubey said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday on the status of public health infrastructure.

He was responding to question on the extent of improvement in health infrastructure in the country in terms of availability of ventilators, oxygen and ICU beds post COVID-19.

Choubey said India's COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package was approved by the Cabinet on 22nd April, 2020 with an objective to prevent detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19. Under the package, the states have been provided support for the improvement only in public health infrastructure. Details of private sector health infrastructure are not maintained centrally.Public health and hospitals being a state subject, the primary responsibility of strengthening healthcare systems including hospitals lies with respective state governments. 'However, central government supplements the efforts of states for improvement of public health care systems. Under the National Health Mission, states/UTs in their programme implementation plans have been given flexibility to propose for filling of gaps (including infrastructure) including that for Tier-II and Tier-III cities. This is then appraised by the National Programme Co-ordination Committee (NPCC) and as per its recommendations, approved by the Ministry of Health. States and UTs are being provided required technical and financial assistance for strengthening of their healthcare systems including hospitals.PTI PLB DV DV