No shortage of PPE, masks: Harsh Vardhan

    Union Health Minister and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan said there is no paucity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, N95 masks in the country. “If in future, more masks, PPE kits, ventilators, ICU beds etc are needed, then, we are prepared for it,” said Vardhan.

    Some Left-Liberal propaganda websites were triggering scare among the public that there is huge shortage of PPE and other medical equipments.

    Dr. Vardhan chaired a high-level review meeting, through Video Conferencing (VC) with senior members of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and State branches of Indian Medical Associations to review the preparedness and concerns of medical staff across the country related to COVID-19. They were informed about the current scenario in the country, various guidelines, treatment and protocols. Doctors from Delhi, Kerala, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Karnataka, Manipur, Assam, Odisha, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Telangana and Uttarakhand participated in the VC.

    The Health Minister stated that the prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 in the country are being monitored at the highest level and various actions have been initiated in collaboration with the States. He informed that Hon’ble Prime Minister is regularly monitoring and reviewing the situation with the top officials of concerned Ministries/Departments and States/UTs.

    Dr. Vardhan reviewed the status of the preparedness in terms of availability of beds, isolation wards, laboratory readiness for high test volumes. He exhorted IMA and its regional members to make a task force and take proactive role in helping the official machinery at state, district and local levels. He stated that their role in propagating the right information and education in the communities at the grassroots level was very critical owing to their position in the society as being medical professionals. “You can support the Government efforts in spreading awareness regarding how to manage the period of lockdown effectively and responsibly in the larger interest of the country,” he further exhorted.

    Appreciating the work of the various medical professionals, Dr. Vardhan said that it is the time to work together in unison with the Government to curb the menace of COVID-19. He said that the country is proud of the medical practitioners for the resilience shown by them in dealing with COVID-19, especially in the last three months. He said that “the government is standing rock solid behind you” and appreciated the various measures being undertaken in close coordination with the government by the private medical practitioners and hospitals to combat COVID-19 in the country. He again appealed to the nation that the doctors and health care workers should not be ostracised or targeted instead they should be lauded for their efforts in helping the public at large. He said that doctors, nurses, healthcare workers deserve our respect, support and cooperation to keep the fight against COVID-19.

    Dr. Vardhan also informed about the recently published TeleMedicine guidelines under which a doctor can provide guidance over telephone and give digital prescription which can enable a patient to get delivery of  concerned medicine at home itself and stay safe at home during lockdown.

    Dr. Vardhan reiterated the resolve and said that “we are committed to preventing the spread of COVID- 19, and we have, we will take all extreme and premptive steps available to stop its spread.”

    He urged the people to respect the lockdown as an effective intervention to cut down spread of COVID-19 transmission and follow all quarantine guidelines properly, including all measures for personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette.  He further added that people of the country should stay indoors & work from home as advised.

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