NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday asked states and union territories to conduct a quick gap analysis for various infrastructure components under the Emergency COVID-19 Response Package and stressed on effective advance preparations for efficient clinical management of the infection.
The Union health ministry reviewed preparations under the recently approved Rs 23,123 crore "India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package (ECRP): Phase II" with health secretaries and senior officials of all states and UTs through a video conference.
The Cabinet approved the new scheme for financial year 2021-22 on July 8.
This package aims to accelerate health system preparedness for immediate responsiveness for early prevention, detection and management with a sharp focus on health infrastructure development, including paediatric care and with measurable outcomes.
During the review meeting, states and UTs were guided on policies and guidelines from the Union health ministry on different aspects of Covid management, which would help them in strengthening their healthcare infrastructure to streamline COVID-19 response.
The states and UTs were requested to send their expenditure proposals at the earliest to enable expeditious approval and sanctioning from the Union government, the health ministry said in a statement.
They were advised to conduct a quick gap analysis for various infrastructure components under the second phase of the Emergency COVID-19 Response Package (ECRP), including their IT infrastructure readiness.
The focus on the need for ramping up test, track, treat and isolate strategy, requirement for scaling up testing capacity, additional beds, including for paediatric care and makeshift hospitals in sub-district levels, ensuring availability of critical drugs, testing kits and PPEs, enhancing oxygen availability and strengthening home and village, community isolation centres and Covid care centres were highlighted during the meeting.
The final year MBBS students, UG interns and PG residents may be utilised under the supervision of the faculty as per the National Medical Commission Guidelines for providing services of mild Covid management through tele-consultation, the states and UTs were told.
Similarly, final nursing graduates may be utilised for full-time Covid nursing duties at government facilities under the supervision of a senior faculty as per the Indian Nursing Council Guidelines and support of remuneration and incentives to these human resources for health under the ECRP-II may be leveraged by states effectively in the times of need, the Centre said.
It was also pointed out that procurement of drugs for effective Covid management is an essential component of ECRP-II; guidelines on procurement and buffer stocks have already been shared with states, which may be adopted for this purpose.
Guidance can be tweaked to local needs and states must come up with their own assessments based on stocks and costs involved.