No ICU Beds in 60% of Assam's District Hospitals: Health Minister Keshab Mahanta during Assam Budget Speech
Health Minister of Assam Keshab Mahanta made an astonishing revelation about the present condition of the state's healthcare infrastructure. Keshab Mahanta stated that about 60% of district hospitals in the state do not posses ICU beds.
On Friday, Mahanta responded to a question from Congress MLA Nurul Huda in the Assam Assembly during the ongoing budget session. He stated that the ICU bed facility is not accessible at any of the state's sub-divisional civil hospitals (SDCHs).
According to the Health Minister, just ten of the state's 25 district hospitals have ICU beds. According to Mahanta, the total number of ICU beds in district hospitals is 178. The Health Minister stated ICU beds are being set up at seven of these hospitals. The minister went on to say that none of the state's 15 SDCHs have ICU beds. While 20 district hospitals have oxygen beds, only eight SDCHs have them. According to the minister, there are 458 oxygen beds in district hospitals and 63 in SDCHs. Five district hospitals lack both ICU and oxygen beds, while 11 have both, including one district hospital with semi-ICU beds. The state's district hospitals and SDCHs have 4,839 and 994 beds, respectively, according to the health ministry.
In another related news, the government of Assam issued a new SOP pertaining to the incoming passengers to Assam through Airports and Railway Stations. The order, issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department, notified that strict containment measures including continuous screening of incoming passengers through airports and railway stations are being conducted in the state of Assam to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. The order also stated that a few people entering the the state were found to be COVID-19 positive despite receiving two doses of the vaccine against the deadly infectious disease; thus, the previous order that allowed people who received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine to avoid mandatory testing upon arrival has been revoked with immediate effect.
The Assam State government is likely to release the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) on July 18. As per reports, New containment zones are likely to be declared in Guwahati along with curfew relaxation in Sonitpur District.
Meanwhile, Assam reported 1,782 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, taking the total caseload in the state to 5,44,227. With 24 COVID-19 induced fatalities reported in the state in the last 24 hours, the total death toll in the state now stands at 4,961. Currently, the active caseload in Assam stands at 18,222.