Large number of makeshift hospitals will be needed to meet likely surge in Covid patients: Centre | India News

NEW DELHI: Even as the Covid-19 count has crossed 2 lakh, the Union government fears a huge surge in numbers in the coming days and told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the country would require a large number of makeshift hospitals, in addition to existing ones, to handle the situation.
“Number of Covid-19 cases is constantly increasing and at some point of time in the near future, apart from existing hospitals, a large number of temporary, makeshift hospitals will have to be created in order to accommodate Covid-19 patients requiring admission, medical care and treatment,” the health ministry said in an affidavit.
Responding to a PIL filed by a doctor, Arushi Jain, who complained of lack of quarantine facilities for corona warriors near hospitals, the ministry said, “To successfully create optimum infrastructure to provide best medical care to Covid-19 patients, the central government will also have to adequately address human resource issue for this envisaged surge. Hence, conserving healthcare workforce is the need of the hour in order to cater to the anticipated patient load in the hour of distress.”
The petitioner’s counsel Mithu Jain told a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay K Kaul and M R Shah that she would like to respond to the ministry’s affidavit. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on June 12. Jain has challenged the change in quarantine norms for corona warriors by the Centre’s May 15 notification, and said it could make doctors and healthcare workers susceptible to Covid-19 infection.
The ministry refuted this charge and said there was no time-tested and universally accepted. practice pertaining to Covid-19 preparedness. “There are major gaps in many other key areas of Covid-19 patient and hospital management. Based on experience of medical experts in the field, both in India and abroad, and based on common agreement arrived by them, constant upgrade, revision or even supersession of Covid Management Guidelines are made,” it added.
It said while hospital infection control committee in a health facility was responsible for implementing infection prevention and control activities and for organising regular training on infection prevention for healthcare workers, “the final responsibility lies with the healthcare worker to prevent infection and protect himself/herself”. “This is true for Covid-19 and any other infectious disease,” it added.
The ministry informed the court that till May 1, the Union government had distributed 99.34 lakh PPEs to states, Union Territories and central institutions along with 123.08 lakh N5 masks. “All the PPEs were procured from nine designated labs of the ministries of textiles and defence,” it said.

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