Deploy med students; no need to test asymptomatic: Centre
While the advisory is aimed at conserving resources, it also means that the count of frech cases could significantly go under the radar.
NEW DELHI: Though the current rate of hospitalisation of Covid patients is just 5-10% as against 20-23% during the second wave, the Centre on Monday urged states to augment human resources by engaging retired medical professionals or MBBS students as was done last year.
They can be used for teleconsultation as well as providing training to community volunteers in basic care and management at Covid Care Centres, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to all states. BSc nursing students of third and fourth year, too, can be deployed, he suggested.
Later in the day, the Indian Council of Medical Research issued an advisory saying asymptomatic individuals and contacts of Covid-positive patients, unless identified as high risk based on age or comorbidities, should not be tested for the infection. While the advisory is aimed at conserving resources, it also means that the count of frech cases could significantly go under the radar.
Bhushan’s letter acknowledged that various states have initiated steps for setting up jumbo health facilities, including field hospitals and temporary hospitals. But both infrastructure and human resources have their limitations, he said.
Therefore, it is important to conserve healthcare workers by staggering their deployment wherever possible and by restricting elective procedures in the hospitals, he said. As for the private sector, he said: “It must also be ensured that charges... are reasonable and there is a mechanism to monitor and initiate action in cases of over-charging.”