<br>The health experts have warned the government that the children could be more prone to infections in the third Covid wave as they have not been inoculated. After that, a special task force to give suggestions on protecting children during the third wave was constituted which is part of the Delhi government's action plan to deal with the impending situation. Apart from this, a separate committee has been constituted to assess the oxygen supply infrastructure in Delhi government hospitals. Covid ICU wards are being prepared under the supervision of the Special Task Force for Children at Chacha Nehru Children's Hospital, LNJP Hospital, GTB and at several other state-run hospitals. Two genome sequencing labs are planned to identify the virus variants at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital and the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in Delhi. Head of Chacha Nehru Child Hospital Mamta Jaju told IANS that a new oxygen pipeline is being laid for 24-hour uninterrupted supply in the hospital. She said that at present there is a provision of 220 beds in the hospital. In view of the third Covid wave, the number of beds will be increased to more than 250. At the same time, there are 30 ICU beds for children in the hospital, which will be increased to 100."The task is midway to increase the present number of 150 oxygen points to 230 in coming days", she added.She said that new tanks are also being installed to ensure there is no crisis in oxygen supply ahead of the third Covid wave. Paediatrician Mamta Jaju said, "We are preparing to buy new ventilators for children ICU wards and also hi-tech machines to be used for oxygen supply". Twenty hour oxygen supply is being arranged for the ICU beds in the hospitals. Along with this, preparations are afoot to increase the capacity of liquid oxygen to 10,000 litres. A plan is also being made by the hospital administration to issue a helpline number, she said. (Avinash Prabhakar can be reached at [email protected])--IANS<br>avr/skp/bg
<br>The Ministry said as oxygen is in high demand in many hospitals around the island, the decision was made to purchase oxygen from India immediately.An official from the Ministry stated that the daily demand for oxygen has increased to 72 metric tonnes and admission of Covid patients needing oxygen has been increased immensely.In addition to India, oxygen is to be imported from Singapore as well. At present Covid patients needing oxygen has increased to over 600 and with the massive influx of new cases, the country's demand has increased.On Wednesday, the National Independent Expert Group under the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled that patients dependent on oxygen have significantly increased from 528 to 646 patients. The expert team Chaired by Alaka Singh, the WHO Representative to Sri Lanka, ruled that if the trend continues, there would inevitability of a serious shortage of oxygen supply and interruption of care.The Expert Group comprising 14 leading medical specialists facilitated by Palitha Abeykoon, WHO Consultant and WHO Director-General's Special Envoy for Covid-19 Preparedness and Response for SEAR, concluded that the bed occupancy rates at all levels of care facilities (over 85 per cent) and ICU's (over 90 per cent) have increased progressively and was now in full capacity.The experts have noted that the current surge in Covid-19, nearly overwhelming the capacity of country's health systems to provide the required adequate care for the people. They warned that the trends indicated that Sri Lanka could soon face a health crisis of unprecedented proportions.The findings of the Expert Group also revealed that many parts of the country showed a high PCR test positivity rate of over 20 per cent as by end of July more than 60 per cent of sequenced samples were Delta variant which was highly transmissible with shorter incubation period. "The crisis will be magnified once Delta variant has spread countrywide because most of the other provinces are not as well vaccinated as the Western province," the experts warned. "Significant number of health workers are getting infected with a consequent pressure for curtailment and closure of services. All indications are that the staff are exhausted and struggling," they noted.The experts cautioned that the number of cases would increase up to mid-September at 6,000 cases per day, deaths up to early October coming to a peak at around 220 deaths per day. ICU admission will peak at around 275 by early October with cumulative deaths around 30,000 by Jan 2022.--IANS<br>sfl/ksk/<br>
<br>The status report (till May this year) of government hospitals submitted before the Delhi Legislative Assembly stated that there are 2,583 sanctioned posts for doctors in all the government hospitals functioning under the Delhi government, of which 487 are vacant.Out of the total vacant posts, 1,200 are for nursing staff and 834 for paramedical staff. Out of the total 8,407 posts sanctioned for nursing staff members, 7,169 have been filled.Similarly, out of the 4,578 post sanctioned for paramedical staff, 3,744 have filled while the rest are vacant.As per the Delhi government's official website, there are 37 hospitals which function under the Delhi government, including the Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital, Delhi State Cancer Institution, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital (GTB), Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital and the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, among others, which cater to a major chunk of patients in the national capital every day.Apart from the government hospitals, around 25 posts of doctors are vacant in the Mohhalla Clinics run by the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi.As per the report, a total of 480 posts are sanctioned for doctors in the Mohhalla Clinics, of which 25 are vacant. Out of the 469 posts sanctioned for pharmacists, 35 are vacant, while 62 posts for clinic assistants and 20 for multi-task workers are also vacant.The Delhi government replied in the Assembly that it has initiated the process to train 5,000 youth as community nursing assistants, who will be working under the direction of the doctors and nurses in the government hospitals."We are in the process of filling all the posts in the government hospitals run by the Delhi government. In view of a possible third wave of the pandemic, the government has already started training aorund 5,000 youth health assistants. Other posts will also be filled on a priority basis," the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) told IANS.In June, while making an announcement regarding strengthening of medical infrastructure in the government hospitals in the city, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said, "In case a third wave emerges, we might also witness a shortage of medical and paramedical staff as we had seen during the second and the first waves."--IANS<br>pd/arm
Washington, Aug 10 (IANS) Covid infections are rising in the US, even requiring hospitalisation, amid soaring infections from the Delta variant of Covid-19 and lagging vaccination rates, media reports said.The American Academy of Pediatrics, in its latest update, said there were nearly 94,000 cases of Covid among kids in the last week, or about 15 per cent of weekly total cases. Kids made up between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent of total hospitalisations, it noted."It is scary, especially for kids who don't fully understand what's going on. They're air hungry, struggling for breath, and it's just scary," Dr Kelechi Iheagwara, medical director of the paediatric intensive care unit at the Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was quoted as saying by the NBC News."You have the illness, the fear, they can't breathe, they're isolated - that's hard for anyone to understand, but can you imagine what it's like for a kid?" Iheagwara added.Further, Covid infections in kids is coupled with a rise in cases of a respiratory virus known as respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a highly contagious, flu-like illness, that is typically more likely to affect children and older adults. That has shrunk the bed space further in children's hospitals and expanded on the unrelenting demand on doctors and nurses, the report said.At least 81 children in the US died of Covid between March and July, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many doctors warn that the situation is likely to get worse.Children get infected because a member of their household, often a parent, brings the coronavirus home. Oftentimes, it is because an adult in the home is unvaccinated, Iheagwara said.Health officials are concerned as many schools across the country are set to open, increasing the risk of children being infected. Covid infections in children have been majorly seen in Arkansas, Missouri, Houston, and Louisiana."Children in Louisiana have died of Covid and more unfortunately will die," Dr. John Vanchiere, a paediatric infectious disease specialist. "This is not a time for politics, for fighting or threatening lawsuits about masks. Masks save lives," he addedMeanwhile, US President Joe Biden expects the Food and Drug Administration to soon grant full approval for vaccinating kids under 12.Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are conducting clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in children under 12. Results of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 could be expected in September.Data for 2-to-5-year-olds could arrive soon after. For the youngest children, Pfizer said it could potentially get data in October or November, and shortly thereafter ask the FDA to authorise emergency use.--IANSrvt/vd
New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The Delhi government on Tuesday approved the Medical Oxygen Production Promotion Policy, 2021 along with the provision for incentives for the production of medical oxygen.The Medical Oxygen Production Policy has been approved to make Delhi self-reliant in oxygen production. "The Medical Oxygen Production Promotion Policy, 2021 provides several incentives to the private sector to set up oxygen production plants, storage facilities, and oxygen tankers," said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.The policy will help improve oxygen availability which became a huge bottleneck in handling the second Covid wave, he added.In a tweet, Kejriwal said, "Medical Oxygen Production Promotion Policy 2021 has been approved. It provides several incentives to the private sector to set up oxygen production plants, invest in oxygen tankers, and set up oxygen storage facilities. This will help improve oxygen availability in Delhi, which became a huge bottleneck in handling the last Covid wave."The policy will help set up new oxygen plants or expanding the production capacity of the existing units for uninterrupted oxygen supply to the hospitals. The policy also aims at easing the storage and transportation of medical oxygen in Delhi. It calls for time-bound solutions for setting up of liquid oxygen manufacturing facilities of minimum 50 MT capacity up to a total of 100 MT.The national capital battled oxygen crisis while managing the second Covid wave. To avoid any such crisis, the Delhi government is creating LMO storage tanks of minimum 10 MT capacity up to a total capacity of 1000 MT and has floated a tender to procure 15 cryogenic tankers having a total carrying capacity of 225 tonnes.The power subsidy shall be made available to the liquid oxygen generation plants and non-captive oxygen generation plants (PSA/ASU) at Rs 4 per unit consumed in the manufacturing process for the first five years from the date of commencement of commercial production, said a statement released by Delhi government.--IANSavr/arm
Bengaluru, Aug 2 (IANS) Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in Karnataka has directed the private hospitals and laboratories to share the reports of Covid positive patients to BBMP and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) before it is being given to the patients.Chief Commissioner Gourav Gupta had issued an order in this regard on Sunday evening which mandates private hospitals and labs to update Covid-19 positive cases to BBMP and upload details on the ICMR portal."It has come to BBMP's notice that many diagnostic centres and private hospitals are giving out Covid-19 test results to patients directly even before informing BBMP authorities or updating on ICMR portal."Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic and it is mandatory for all private establishments carrying out tests and treatment to report all Covid positive cases to BBMP. This will ensure timely and effective containment and surveillance of the infectious disease," Chief Commissioner BBMP Gaurav Gupta stated."It is directed that all laboratories, private hospitals testing either Rapid Antizen Test (RAT) or RT-PCR or any other approved Covid tests shall update results on ICMR portal immediately. They should also inform BBMP authorities via email to the Chief Health Officer and respective zonal health officers," the order said."If any laboratory or hospital is found to violate the above-mentioned order, strict action will be initiated under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020, the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) Act 2017 and Disaster Management Act, 2005," the order stated.--IANSmka/skp/
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