From Our Bureau
21ST APRIL 2020
A total of 18,601 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country and the death toll rose to 590 on Tuesday. As many as 3,252 persons, that is, 17.48 percent of the total cases, have been cured/ discharged after recovery, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
As part of a pre-emptive, proactive and graded response policy, Government of India is taking several steps along with the States/ Union Territories for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19. These are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, has written to the Health Departments of all States/UTs to ensure adequate availability of blood in blood banks. In particular, for people needing regular blood transfusion with blood disorders such as Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, and Hemophilia etc. He has also stated that the online portal ‘e-RaktKosh’ needs to be used for the real-time status monitoring of the current stock of each blood group.
As part of the collaborative approach for COVID-19 management, Indian Red Cross has started a 24X7 control room in Delhi for blood services. The numbers are: 011-23359379, 93199 82104, 93199 82105.
The Empowered Committee-4, which is entrusted with Augmenting Human Resources and Capacity Building, has developed the COVID WARRIORS dashboard which contains data for 20 categories (with 49 sub categories) human resources including MBBS doctors, AYUSH doctors, nurses, frontline workers like ASHA, Anganwaadi workers, healthcare workers trained under various schemes of Government of India like PMKVY, DDU GKY, DAY–NULM, and health volunteers like NCC, NYKS, NSS, Ex-Servicemen.
At present, there is data for more than 1.24 crore human resources on the dashboard and it is continuously being updated with addition of new groups and sub groups as per specialization. The dashboard contains State and District-wise information about the number of human resources available from each group, along with the contact details of respective State and District Nodal officers.
The platform provides anytime anywhere onsite delivery of training material material/modules accessible through any device (mobile/laptop/desktop). The platform has 14 courses with 53 modules with includes 113 videos and 29 documents.
As on date, 14,995 AYUSH professionals have been deployed in 15 States and 2 UTs, whereas 3,492 NCC Cadets and 553 NCC staff have been deployed in 68 districts in 16 States and 3 UTs. More than 47,000 cadets have already enrolled for training and will be available for deployment. Also, 1,80,000 Ex Servicemen have been identified by the Sainik Boards for deployment.
More than 40,000 volunteers from Indian Red Cross are actively participating in COVID 19 related activities in over 550 districts in the country. As many as 27 lakh volunteers of NYKS and NSS volunteers across all States and UTs are working with the civic authorities in COVID 19 related activities.
In view of instances of hospitals getting closed as some healthcare workers became positive and some patients admitted for unrelated disease in non-COVID hospitals becoming positive, the Ministry of Health has issued guidelines to be followed on detection of such cases in a non-COVID Health Facility.
The Hospitals Infection Control Committee is made responsible for monitoring such issues in the hospitals. The Committee shall ensure that the healthcare workers are oriented on infection prevention and control guidelines. Some of the guidelines to be followed are as follows:
Informing the local health authorities about the case and transfer the patient to be treated in isolation for COVID-19.
Such patients should be masked and only a dedicated healthcare worker should attend this case, following due precautions.
As per the clinical status, the patient shall be transferred to a dedicated COVID facility following standard precautions
The facility shall be disinfected.
All contact of this patient shall be quarantined and followed up for days.
All close contacts shall be put on HCQ for a period of 7 weeks keeping in mind the contraindications of HCQ also.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is launching a randomized, blinded, two arms, active comparator-controlled clinical trial to evaluate drug efficacy to reduce mortality in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Given the similarities between the clinical characteristics of patients suffering from COVID-19 and Gram-negative sepsis, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the trial and it will soon begin in multiple hospitals.
The Department of Biotechnology has invited applications at the COVID-19 Consortium to support the development of Medical Equipment Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Drugs and Vaccine to deal with Healthcare Challenges. A multifaceted approach is being adopted for the following:
Vaccine candidates utilizing different platforms and at different stages of development are being fast-tracked under the National Biopharma Mission.
Funding support has been recommended to repurpose existing vaccine candidates and novel vaccine candidates.
Support is being provided for the development of DNA vaccine against COVID-19, – vaccine candidates utilizing inactivated rabies vector, phase-III human clinical trials of recombinant BCG vaccine.
Support is also being provided for indigenous production of Molecular and rapid diagnostic kits.
Four Districts- Mahe (Puducherry), Kodagu (Karnataka), Pauri Garhwal (Uttrakhand) & Pratapgarh (Rajasthan) have not reported any fresh cases during the last 28 days. There are now 61 additional districts from 23 States/UT that have not reported any fresh cases during the last 14 Days. Four new districts have been included in the list: Latur , Osmanabad, Hingoli & Washim from Maharashtra. (eom)