Jharkhand: districts told to ensure O2 beds, check ventilators amid fear of a third wave
The health department in Jharkhand has directed deputy commissioners of all 24 districts in the state to ensure availability of oxygen-supported beds even in Community Healthcare Centres (CHCs) and verify that all the ventilators were functioning fine in a bid keep medical infrastructure ready amid the growing fear of a third wave of Covid-19.
In a letter addressed to deputy commissioners on Tuesday evening, Jharkhand’s additional chief secretary (health) Arun Kumar Singh also directed districts to keep a watch on international travellers and those who have visited clusters in the country where a spike in Covid cases has been reported.
District administrations have been asked to follow up with domestic passengers who either do not undergo Covid test upon arrival or test negative on the second and the fifth day of their stay in Jharkhand. “Conduct RT PCR tests if the traveller shows symptoms of Covid-19 during follow up,” stated Singh’s letter, a copy of which was also sent to the chairman of the State Disaster Management Authority.
“Some clusters of infection have been reported from some places in the country. Active surveillance and testing is the key in detection of such clusters and hotspots,” Singh’s letter read.
The state government's move comes a day after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) expressed fear of a possible third wave of Covid-19 if necessary precautionary measures were not taken immediately.
"At a time when India is limping back to normalcy, this is a great setback. If we do not take adequate measures, we may have a massive third wave," a statement from the doctors’ body said.
The IMA warned that cases of the latest variant of coronavirus were reported from a number of major states of India and the tally was bound to increase. There were 23 detected cases of infection caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus by Wednesday morning.
In the wake of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus, the state has directed districts to ramp up the process of sending samples to Bhubaneswar for genome sequencing.
The Jharkhand health department has admitted that the second wave of the pandemic wreaked havoc on the state, and taking precautionary measures well in advance was imperative for fighting any possibility of a third wave of Covid-19.
As per government data, the active caseload of Covid-19 has been on the rise in Jharkhand in the past one week. On Wednesday morning, there were at least 136 Covid-19 patients in the state, and 59 of them were residents of Ranchi. There were as many as 94 active cases of Covid-19 in Jharkhand on December 1.
According to the current protocol for passengers, international travellers have to be tested by RT PCR on the eighth day of their stay in the state. All international travellers will have to stay either in home or institutional quarantine for eight days after their arrival in Jharkhand.