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20220106

Centre asks States, UTs to set up COVID-19 control rooms amid surge in cases

New Delhi : Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Centre on Thursday asked States and Union Territories to set up control rooms at district and sub-district levels to ensure ease of access to services for COVID management. Additional Secretary of Union Health Ministry Arti Ahuja in her letter to states and UTs said that in view of seamless administrative management of COVID-19 situation, "it is expected that targeted action for re-establishment of Control Rooms at district and sub-district levels (for bigger districts) to ensure ease of access to services like ambulance transportation and booking a hospital bed would have begun." As per the new directive issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the States and UTs have been directed to ensure that the control rooms are adequately staffed with medical doctors, counsellors and volunteers, among other relevant staff, and shall be equipped with ample phone lines to cater to the assigned population. Some of the other directives of the Centre include enabling infrastructure in terms of computers and broadband must be provided to the control rooms for uninterrupted connectivity and control rooms must have real-time data on the availability of COVID testing centres, ambulances, and should be able to guide the caller on the process for availing these services. Depending on the caseload, the control rooms shall remain functional round the clock to provide validated guidance/ support to the patients.The Centre also said that control rooms should also monitor the availability of different types of beds across the assigned health facilities and shall counsel the patients/ attendants to avail only the required services based on clinical symptoms and availability of beds. A clear and transparent mechanism for the allotment of beds must be ensured by the Control Rooms. Dedicated ambulances shall be allotted to each Control Room based on area caseload for transportation of patients, as per the need. Centre said, "Control Rooms shall also be responsible to make outbound calls to the patients under home isolation for regular monitoring of their status." "One of the core responsibilities of the Control Rooms shall also be to collate the daily status report of all patients under home isolation in their jurisdiction and submit the same to the district administration," it added. According to the Union Health Ministry, India's case tally of the Omicron variant has exceeded 2,600. India on Thursday reported 90,928 new COVID-19 cases, 19,206 recoveries and 325 deaths.

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