Augmenting facilities to deal with novel coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry has asked the AIIMS administration to designate a part of the new emergency wing of its Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre for setting up of isolation beds for suspected COVID-19 patients.This isolation facility will have a capacity to hold about 20 patients at a given point of time and once confirmed to be positive, the patient concerned will be transferred to NCI Jajhar for treatment, official sources said.
A separate entry gate has been delineated which will receive patients from the ambulance bay. Based on the history and severity, patients will be triaged as Red, Yellow or Green case.
Besides, the Ministry has asked the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Jhajjar to augment its isolation bed capacity to 125 from the existing 25.
The number of COVID-19 patients in India stands at 39 which includes 16 Italians. The figure also includes the three Kerala patients who were discharged last month following recovery.
Also, the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry has been asked to keep aside 13 beds for isolating patients while six other AIIMS have been directed to keep an isolation bed capacity between 12-15 for coronavirus patients, which can be scaled up to 30 if need arises, the official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the coronavirus situation in the country at a meeting with officials and directed them to identify locations for sufficient quarantine facilities and make provisions for critical care in case the disease spreads further.
At the meeting with all ministries and departments concerned, he said that in view of expert opinion, people should be advised to avoid mass gatherings as much as possible and made aware of the dos and don'ts.
The Health Ministry has also asked states to set up rapid response teams at district, block and village levels stating that cases of community transmission of the disease have been observed.
These Rapid response teams, as a part of the cluster containment approach, would promptly check and sensitise every household within 3 km-radius of the house of an infected person and also those who have come in contact with the affected, to prevent community spread of the virus, a health ministry official explained.
"These health officials will urge those having symptoms of cough, fever and breathing difficulty to get themselves tested and stay home quarantined, besides sensitising them to stay alert and look for symptoms and report if any," the official said.
According to the latest advisory, all international passengers irrespective of their nationality are mandated to undergo a universal medical screening.
Adequate screening measures have been put in place and nine more airports have been added to the existing 21, bringing the total number to 30 airports where screening of passengers is being carried out.