Most of India’s oxygen production capacity is centered around industries, many of which are concentrated in India’s eastern states. The current surge in infections is in the northern and western states. (Image: AP)
Starting from the second week of April, over 1,300 oxygen beds and about 530 ICU beds for COVID treatment have been added in 12 new AIIMS and the current availability of oxygen and ICU beds is about 1,900 and 900 respectively, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
There are currently 1,925 non-ICU oxygen beds and about 908 ICU beds, including ventilators at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, AIIMS, Bhopal, AIIMS, Jodhpur, AIIMS, Patna, AIIMS, Raipur, AIIMS Rishikesh, AIIMS, Mangalagiri, AIIMS, Nagpur, AIIMS, Raebareli, AIIMS, Bathinda, AIIMS, Bibinagar and AIIMS, Gorakhpur.
So far, setting up of 22 new AIIMS has been approved under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), a central sector scheme,announced in August 2003.
Out of these, six AIIMS at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh are already fully functional. In another seven AIIMS, OPD facility and MBBS classes have started, while in five more institutes only MBBS classes have started, the ministry said in its statement.
'These regional AIIMS, set up or being set up under PMSSY, have played a very significant role in management of COVID since the beginning of the pandemic early last year. Their contribution becomes significant when seen in light of the fact that they serve areas where the health infrastructure is weak.
'True to their mandate, they have also admirably responded to the challenge of the second wave by expanding bed capacities for treatment for moderate and severe COVID patients,' the ministry said. Keeping in view the increased demand, COVID treatment facilities have been started from AIIMS at Raebareli and Gorakhpur during April-May which has helped Uttar Pradesh to proactively serve patients of remote districts like Fatehpur, Barabanki, Kaushambi, Pratapgarh, Sultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Ballia, Mau and Azamgarh.
Capacities of these new AIIMS to handle COVID cases are being reinforced by Government of India by way of allocations of additional equipment such as ventilators, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, besides other consumables such as N-95 masks, PPE kits and essential drugs which includes Favipiravir, Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, the statement said.
Being tertiary care centres, the new regional AIIMS also delivered other critical non-COVID health services to COVID patients such as those requiring dialysis or those with serious heart ailments, pregnant women, paediatric cases.
AIIMS, Raipur alone treated a total of 9,664 COVID patients from March till May 17. The institute has provided care to 362 COVID positive women and helped 223 to have safe deliveries. Paediatric care was provided to 402 COVID children and 898 COVID patients with severe heart ailments availed treatment, while 272 patients were aided in their dialysis session, the statement stated.
The country is currently witnessing cases of mucormycosis being reported from different states.
The condition is generally seen in people with a weakened immune system and those with diabetes. Diabetes is a co-morbidity for COVID, the treatment of which requires use of steroids that modulates body's immune-response. The treatment for this rare infection is very complex. However, even for this condition, effective and high-quality treatment is being offered by AIIMS at Raipur, Jodhpur, Patna, Rishikesh, Bhubaneswar and Bhopal, besides some other which are not yet fully functional, the statement added.