Jharsuguda: In view of growing number of COVID-19 positive cases in Odisha, the state government demanded the Centre to provide more number of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for doctors and healthcare workers engaged for patients with suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV infection.
In a high-level meeting held through a video conferencing programme in Jharsuguda today, Health & Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das placed the state’s demand before the Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
Laying emphasis on safety of doctors treating the COVID-19 patients in Odisha, Das appealed to the union minister to supply 5 lakh PPE, adequate quantity of Hydroxychloroquine and Vitamin-C tablets, masks and hand sanitiser to the state.
He also urged to provide COVID-19 RT-PCR testing kits and sought permission to the state-run medical institutions including VIMSAR in Burla, Bhima Bhoi Medical College & Hospital in Balangir and SLN Medical College & Hospital in Koraput to set up laboratory for COVID-19 test in Odisha.
Briefing about state’s initiative to tackle spread of COVID-19, Das informed Harsh Vardhan that Naveen Patnaik-led government has extended the lockdown period till April 30.
At the meeting, he said that Odisha government has taken a number of precautionary measures including opening of COVID hospitals with around 1519 beds at several locations of the state to fight the COVID-19 by declaring the pandemic as a ‘state disaster’ under Disaster Management Provision Act.
So far, the Centre has approved only Rs 46.35 crore towards battle against COVID-19. He demanded Union Health Ministry to grant more funds to the state to check the highly infectious disease. He also sought cobas 6800, the automated testing machine capable of conducting COVID-19 test of more number of samples, for the laboratories approved by ICMR-RMRC.