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COVID-19: Bihar's health secretary Pratyay Amrit brings sea of changes in less than a month

After taking over the charges of principal health secretary, he is said to have 'burned the midnight oil' till 1 am at his residence in chalking out the ways to check the spread of infection first.

Published: 22nd August 2020 11:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2020 11:52 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar Health secretary Pratyay Amrit

Bihar Health secretary Pratyay Amrit (Photo| Special Arrangement)

Express News Service

PATNA: It has rightly been said that we'll begun is half done. And 1991-batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre Pratyay Amrit proved it in many more ways than expected.

The state government amid mounting pressure and demand from even by the people of medical fraternity appointed Pratyay Amrit as the principal health secretary replacing Uday Singh Kumawat on July 28 at the same capacity from which he was heading the state Disaster Management department.

Known as one of the turnaround men of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar right from the state electricity department to Bihar Pul Nirman Nigam and the Disaster Management department,  Amrit hates to take rest without achieving the target and bringing changes from existing status to new one. My ruling passion is to perform 'Dil se' (By the Heart) and work 'Dimag se' (By the Brain) in whatever assignment I have got. I take everything tasks as a challenge and act upon it," he said recently.

After taking over the charges of principal health secretary, he is said to have 'burned the midnight oil' till 1 am at his residence in chalking out the ways to check the spread of infection first. Till July 28, the testing rate was below the expectations(nearly 12000 to 16000 per day) despite  many rounds of CM Nitish Kumar's directions to ramp it up.

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The rate of positivity was also high whereas the rate of recovery was around 66 per cent and was going up and down.

Soon after taking charge, Amrit went to Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) - where one feared to go for treatment once despite of the place being the state's first COVID-19 dedicated hospital. It was in the limelight for all the wrong reasons including an alleged act of the body of a COVID-19 patient left abondoned in a ward and others.

He toned up the system and set a target to improve the conditions within 24 hours and results came a s a wonder to the patients. He visited almost all hospitals admitting COVID patients across the state by chopper including the one in  Bhagalpur, which had been witnessing a massive rise in the positive cases. "Testing has been accorded the top priority then other follow up works to tame the pandemic wave.I will not now speak anything more except wait few days to see the differences," he had said.

Now, Bihar is the most performing state in the country in terms of single day testing rate which has gone over more than one lakh. The positivity rate has now come to 1.64 per cent from 14 per cent before he joined. Official sources said that positivity rate drastically started falling from August 10 from 4.46 per cent to 1.64 per cent on August 21.

Testing rate increased from 75346 as on August 9 to 1,02,945 as on August 21 with decline in number of positive cases from 3714 on August 10 to 1684 on August 21. "As on August 21, the recovery rate has gone above 79.54% with more than 95372 positive persons recovered.At present, only 23,935 are active cases with growing testing rate day by day," Amrit said.

The death toll has been 601 since March out of the total 119909 COVID positive patients so far.Sanjivan app, which provides all COVID-related information instantly after it is downloaded, was developed by the state's health department under the guidance of Amrit.

He ensured the release of daily health bulletins of COVID-19 patients from every government hospitals  twice a day-at 11 am and 6 pm. The testing for CCOVID-19 with the rapid antigen kits has also started for the people of flood affected areas.

The herbal kadha (cocaction) is served to all those who have taken shelters at flood relief camps in the state. The pandemic medical control rooms set up, after he took charge, have come as a great help to people who seek assistance in testing or emergency services.

"Plasma donors are now given incentives of Rs 5000 on behalf of the government and the family members of all those who died due to COVID19 have been given Rs 4 lakh from the CM Relief Funds," he said.

Amrit, who was awarded with the PM Excellence Award in 2011 for the best public administration, said that public oriented administration in almost all fields yield good results.

He has managed to get positing of some IAS officers in health wings for the time being to assist while some IPS and IAS probationers have been posted in government-run hospitals including NMCH, PMCH and others for coordinating with the heath administration at local levels for better treatment services.

He hoped that all would soon be well in the battle against COVID-19 in Bihar.

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