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New Delhi, April 10, 2020
The Government today said that, against the projected requirement of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) of 1 crore tablets (including health workers dealing with COVID-19 patients, ICU cases and high risk contacts), the availability, as of now, is 3.28 crore tablets, which is three times more than required for domestic use in the country.
In addition to this, about 2-3 crore more have been stocked up, an official press release said.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a video conference today to review actions and preparedness for COVID-19 management with Health Ministers, Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of all States and Union Territories.
Harsh Vardhan suggested that there is a need to make dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in each district of the country and notify them as soon as possible so that people are informed about them. He said that detailed guidelines for which category of healthworker/professional need to use which category of personal protective equipment (PPE) are available at the Ministry’s website and states need to create awareness about their rational use, too. A video highlighting the appropriate use of PPE in different areas of hospitals has been uploaded and available here.
Government of India has announced a sanction of Rs 15,000 crore for the "India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package". These funds can be used for treatment of COVID-19 patients and strengthen the medical infrastructure of the country with primary focus on COVID-19. This will boost the number of COVID-19 testing facilities and can be used to purchase PPE, Isolation beds, ICU beds, Ventilators and other essential medical equipment and for training of medical and paramedical manpower.
The release said 39 domestic manufacturers have been developed for PPE and the Government of India has taken all required action to ensure adequate supply of PPE for frontline health workers across all States.
Around 20.4 lakh N-95 masks have been supplied to the States and further procurement has already been initiated to address future requirements. Also, an order for 49,000 ventilators has been placed and stock is being taken for future requirements.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also issued guidelines on blood transfusions and voluntary blood donation to ensure adequate stocks of blood & blood components, especially for those patients where blood transfusions is a life saving measure. The guidelines are available here.
As of now, capacity of testing has been scaled up through 146 Government labs, 67 Private labs with more than 16,000 collection centres. On April 9, approximately 16,002 tests were taken up, of which 320 were found to be positive (approximately 2%). This figure, however, varies on a day-to-day basis depending on the samples collected, the release added.