West Bengal govt planning to set up COVID-19 units at all hospitals: Official

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Published: July 20, 2020 5:57 PM

A directive to improve infrastructure and accommodate separate units for COVID-19 patients has already been issued to all the state-run hospitals, he said.

The government is also planning to procure at least 19 more Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test kits as it wants to ensure that at least 25,000 tests are carried out every day.The government is also planning to procure at least 19 more Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test kits as it wants to ensure that at least 25,000 tests are carried out every day.

The West Bengal government is planning to set up COVID-19 units at every private and state-run hospital, amid the relentless surge in the number of coronavirus cases, a senior official said on Monday.

A directive to improve infrastructure and accommodate separate units for COVID-19 patients has already been issued to all the state-run hospitals, he said.

The government is also planning to procure at least 19 more Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test kits as it wants to ensure that at least 25,000 tests are carried out every day.

“The manner in which COVID-19 cases are increasing in West Bengal is quite concerning. To counter the spread, the best way is to conduct more tests and improve the infrastructure…We have planned to set up COVID-19 units at all the state-run and private hospitals in Bengal,” the official told PTI.

In the first phase, the units will be set up in the state general hospitals of South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and Purba and Paschim Medinipore districts, he said.

“Increasing the number of beds in the hospitals in the districts is the only option we have. It will also ease the pressure on city hospitals,” the official said.

Sources in the state secretariat said that an “administrative-level meeting with the representatives of government hospitals and private hospitals” will be held this week.

According to the official, increasing the number of tests to 25,000 from the existing average of 10,500 is “no mean task”.

“Only by raising the number of tests we can get a fair idea about the status of the COVID-19 spread in the state. But enhancing tests is not that easy. First, we are planning to increase the number to 20,000 and then 25,000. We will also be adding 19 more RT-PCR test machines to the existing stock,” he said.

Adding to that, a new service will be introduced to help people avail ambulances without much hassle, especially during emergencies.

“People have complained that they did not get ambulances during emergencies. This new service will help people connect with the health department’s emergency number. The service will be available soon,” the official added.

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