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Coronavirus: How India is preparing for more difficult challenges ahead | India News

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NEW DELHI: Amid impending fears that coronavirus infection will enter the community transmission stage, India is boosting its general health infrastructure by initiating measures such as designating dedicated hospitals for affected patients in the states, increasing the acquisition of ventilators and mobilize resources from the railways and the armed forces to deal with any eventuality

As of now, the country reported 873 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths.

Although the Ministry of Health and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) have insisted that “so far there is no” solid evidence “of community transmission, the government has begun to expand the health infrastructure to deal with any situation.

This is how India is increasing capacity for the most difficult challenges ahead:

* The Center has asked all states to assign hospitals only for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 and to increase their capacity to handle an increasing number of cases. At least 17 states have started working on it.

* The military maintains 28 service hospitals ready to treat COVID-19 patients, in addition to five hospitals that carry out laboratory tests to detect the infection.

* Public defense company Bharat Electronics Limited has been tasked with manufacturing ventilators, while the leading defense research laboratory DRDO is producing protective gear for medical personnel and supplying hand sanitizers and face masks to various agencies involved in the patient care.

* The government granted emergency financial powers to the Army corps and division commanders to acquire equipment to establish medical and quarantine facilities for those affected.

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* Railways have built a prototype isolation room for the treatment of patients with coronavirus by converting train cars without air conditioning. Once best practices are finalized, each rail zone would make a rake of 10 coaches each week, the national carrier said.

* The Center has ordered states to keep some beds reserved to create isolation facilities in public and private hospitals and to ensure that stable patients are discharged as soon as possible.

* The Ministry of Health has asked hospitals and medical education institutions to obtain a sufficient number of ventilators and high flow oxygen masks to be prepared for any possible flow of patients.

* AIIMS has established a working group to develop the management protocol for COVID-19 and has set up several committees to respond to the challenges that may arise in the coming days due to the growing infection, authorities said.

* The Center has also asked hospitals to postpone all non-essential surgeries.

* Private hospitals have also increased their facilities and created a focused team to handle any future patient increases.

* To address the fan shortage in the country, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said Friday that an order for 10,000 fans was placed in addition to the previous order for 1,200 fans.

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