After showing a resurgence from mid-February and peaking in May, the trajectory of COVID-19 cases in the country is now registering a sustained and considerable decline, the government said Friday. However, Kerala and Maharashtra are still recording high number of cases while certain northeastern states are also showing an upward trend, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed the Lok Sabha Friday.
States like Punjab and Rajasthan are showing a decreasing trend of COVID-19 cases, she added in her written response to a question.
"As on 28th July 2021, the trajectory of cases in the country after showing a resurgence from mid-February 2021, peaked in May 2021, is now registering a sustained and considerable decline," she said.
Pawar said although health is a state subject, the Centre has provided required technical support and also aided states through logistics and finances to tackle the pandemic.
A three-tier arrangement of dedicated COVID-19 health facilities -- COVID Care Center (CCC); Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) and Dedicated COVID Hospital (DCH) -- has been implemented in the country to reduce the risk of cross-infection as well as to maintain continuity of non-COVID essential health services, she said.
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The Centre has roped in tertiary care hospitals under other ministries to supplement the hospital facilities, she said, adding many large temporary treatment facilities were established by the DRDO to manage the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The isolation bed capacity and ICU bed capacity were also enhanced continuously, she said.
The daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) supply was increased by the enhancement of LMO production in steel plants as well as in other LMO plants. Further, restrictions were also imposed on industrial use of oxygen, she said.
In order to avoid the wastage of medical oxygen, guidelines on rational use of oxygen were issued on 25th September 2020, and further revised and disseminated to States on 25th April 2021, the reply stated.
Also, to generate oxygen at the health facility level, PSA plants are being established in each district hospitals to reduce the burden on the medical oxygen supply grid across the country, she added.
Further, to fast-track the availability of medical oxygen in rural and peri-urban areas, more than 39,000 oxygen concentrators have been allocated to various states, she said.
State drugs controllers have been requested to verify the stock of the drugs and check other malpractices and take effective steps to curb hoarding and black-marketing of Remdesivir, the reply said.
Under the National COVID Vaccination Program, the Centre is procuring vaccines and providing them free of cost to states and UTs, she said, adding as on July 25, a total of about 44.91 crore doses have been supplied to states and UTs from all sources.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.