Govt asks states to ensure availability of oxygen concentrators as Covid cases spike
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to states and union territories asked the States/Union Territories should have a buffer stock of medical oxygen sufficient for at least 48 hours at health facilities providing in-patient care; asks to ensure the proper functioning of PSA plants & availability of sufficient oxygen concentrators.
The Union Health Secretary in his letter to chief secretaries of all States/UTs asked them to take immediate measures to ensure optimal availability of medical oxygen at health facilities.
Earlier on Monday, Rajesh Bhushan said that during the second surge of COVID infections in the country, the percentage of active cases that needed hospital care was in the range of 20-23 percent.
"In the present surge, five to 10 per cent of active cases needed hospitalisation so far. The situation is dynamic and evolving. Therefore, the need for hospitalisation may also change rapidly."
Citing global data, the INSACOG said that in view of Omicron's explosive spread potential the threat level is still very high globally, especially in regions with low population immunity, as the apparent reduction in severity compared to Delta and other previous outbreaks is mainly because of higher population immunity from previous infections and vaccination.
The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), a grouping of 10 National Laboratories, while giving this assessment in its weekly bulletin of December 27 that was released on Monday said global outbreaks of COVID are increasingly shifting from Delta to Omicron.
Meanwhile, India added 1,94,720 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,60,70,510 which includes 4,868 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The active cases have increased to 9,55,319, the highest in 211 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,84,655 with 442 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
Of the total 4,868 cases of the Omicron variant, 1,805 people have recovered or migrated so far.
Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 1,281 cases followed by Rajasthan at 645,Delhi 546, Karnataka 479 and Kerala 350.