The Centre on Wednesday reviewed preparedness of five eastern states to address needs and challenges of the current phase of the Covid pandemic.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, along with NITI Aayog's Member Health, Dr V.K. Paul, chaired a high-level meeting with Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand to assess the arrangements put in place by these eastern states for containment and management of the pandemic.
Evidence suggests that the pandemic is moving eastward and a rise has been observed in the number of daily cases in these states along with rising mortality.
Five critical areas of action were discussed for addressing the needs and challenges of the recent phase of the pandemic in these states, which has led to an unprecedented surge in the number of daily cases and increased mortality.
Underscoring the critical importance of human resources in providing health services and clinical management of the severe Covid patients in the hospitals, the states were advised to ensure that performance linked payments of the community health officers (at the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres and the incentives to the ANMs and other health workers are paid timely. The National Health Mission funds to the states may be utilised for this purpose.
The Centre also emphasised that the periods of stringent restricted movement in the states could be utilised for augmentation of hospital infrastructure including construction of makeshift hospitals; attaching hotels to hospitals; and field hospitals.
It was pointed out to the states that as part of the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy Phase-3, states were advised to clear the payment of the manufactures so that the vaccine consignments could be delivered to them in a timely manner for Phase-3 of the nationwide vaccination drive.
The Centre would continue to procure its share of 50 per cent of the monthly CDL cleared vaccines and would continue to make it available to the state governments totally free of cost as was being done earlier.It was pointed to the states that they should not lose sight of those who are to get the second dose of Covid vaccine. Of the supply of vaccines to the states, it was pointed out that 70 per cent ought to be allocated to meet the requirement of the second dose, while 30 per cent ought to be reserved for the first dose.
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