UP forms district-level panels to curb Covid-19 infection from hospitals

UP has reported 1,778 coronavirus cases across 57 districts, of which 248 have been cured and discharged. However, 26 persons succumbed to the disease, leaving 1,504 active cases
Against the backdrop of reports suggesting that the coronavirus (Covid-19) infection is also spreading from hospitals, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to form district-level panels comprising representatives from different agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), to ensure that the virus does not spread from healthcare facilities.

These panels would be tasked with inspecting the district government and private hospitals offering emergency medical services and ensuring they follow the standard infection protection protocol, UP medical, health and family welfare principal secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said here on Saturday.

Each of the district panels would be headed by an additional chief medical officer (CMO) level officer and comprised of representatives from the Indian Medical Association (IMA), doctors, WHO, UNICEF and also UP Pollution Control Board, since biomedical waste management is a vital element of preventing medical infection.

“Of late, the hospitals have emerged as a big source of spreading coronavirus infections,” Prasad said, adding the decision to form such committees was taken on Saturday after express instructions from Chief Minister Adityanath.

He said the committee would visit the respective hospitals and conduct an audit of their safety and infection prevention mechanism before allowing them to continue offering emergency services.

Besides, the state government has planned to conduct online training for doctors, nurses, and health workers to sensitise them on the topic and protect them from catching the infection.

So far, UP has reported 1,778 coronavirus cases across 57 districts, of which 248 have been cured and discharged. However, 26 persons succumbed to the disease, leaving 1,504 active cases. “Most of the deceased were either suffering from co-morbidity or belonged to the higher age groups,” he informed.

Yesterday, a record number of 4,115 corona samples were tested in UP at the four testing labs spread across Lucknow, Meerut and Etawah.

Meanwhile, Prasad acknowledged the help provided by the WHO, UNICEF, and Melinda Gates Foundation in extending support and partnering with the various anti-coronavirus initiatives underway in UP.

The 389 designated corona hotspots in UP have reported a total of 1,373 cases. These hotspots, falling under 234 police station areas, have a population of more than 3.5 million. “Our hotspot strategy has proved to be effective with more than 90 per cent of the fresh cases emerging from these areas,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi claimed, adding the model is being adopted in other states as well.

The UP Police have lodged 30,163 FIRs under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for defying the lockdown under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. More than 2.4 million vehicles have been checked for breaching lockdown norms and fines totalling Rs 11.70 crore collected.

Under the Essential Commodities Act (ECA), the police have lodged 539 FIRs against 679 persons for black marketing and hoarding of goods, of which 242 were arrested. However, most of the accused were released after they furnished bail bonds.

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