Union Health Minister Mandaviya visits Safdarjung Hospital, reviews COVID-19 mock drill

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya inspects an isolation ward for COVID-19 patients at Safdarjung hospital, during a nationwide mock drill for COVID-19 preparedness, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Deember. 27, 2022.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya inspects an isolation ward for COVID-19 patients at Safdarjung hospital, during a nationwide mock drill for COVID-19 preparedness, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Deember. 27, 2022.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 reviewed the Covid response mock drill at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital here to check its readiness to deal with any increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

Amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases in some countries, the Centre has asked States and Union Territories to conduct mock drills at all the designated COVID-19 hospitals as part of precautionary measures.

“I reviewed the Covid response mock drill at Safdarjung Hospital. This mock drill was necessary to know how prepared our hospitals are,” the Minister said.

“Covid cases are rising all over the world and India might witness a spike in cases too. Hence it is important that the entire Covid infrastructure in terms of equipment, processes and human resources are at a state of operational readiness”, he stated.

Clinical readiness at hospitals is crucial, Mr. Mandaviya said while noting that government as well as private hospitals are undertaking mock drills.

The State Health Ministers are reviewing the drills in their respective States, he said.

Caution against complacency

Cautioning against complacency, he urged everyone to follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour. He also asked people to refrain from sharing unverified information and ensure high level of preparedness.

Mr. Mandaviya visited the 44-bedded Covid centre at the hospital, the triage and testing area which has been created by the hospital along with a Severe Acute Respiratory Infection ward in the makeshift facility which already existed. 

The Health Minister also interacted with the hospital officials and instructed them to be prepared for any fresh outbreak.

There are enough funds allocated for containing COVID-19 and States have been given funds to make all arrangements, he added.

B.L. Sherwal, the Medical Superintendent of the Safdarjung Hospital, said, “All symptomatic patients shall be screened, assessed and tested right there in the Covid centre. The report shall be made available within one to two hours following which the decision on admission or discharge shall be taken. Till that time the patient can be monitored. All beds have oxygen facilities.”

Neeraj Gupta, a professor in the Department of Pulmonary, Critical care and Sleep medicine at Safdarjung Hospital, said of the 44 beds, six beds are equipped with a ventilator with monitors.

Besides there is also an 18-bedded dedicated Covid ICU, he said.

“Apart from that there are 81 beds available for Covid treatment. If need be, we can make more available,” Dr. Gupta said.

Four international travellers from Myanmar, who tested positive for Covid at the Delhi airport, are admitted at the Safdarjung Hospital and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing. “They were asymptomatic. They will be discharged once they test negative,” Dr. Sherwal informed.

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