Nitish directs officials to maintain high Covid testing

Nitish directs officials to maintain high Covid testing till vaccination is completed in Bihar

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Credit: PTI.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday directed health officials to maintain high level of testing for Covid-19 till inoculation of the entire population of the state was completed. Reviewing functioning of the health department, the chief minister instructed officials that vaccination campaign should be accomplished with all alertness on the lines of 'pulse polio drive' which saw the state getting rid of the polio disease.

With the state eagerly waiting for the arrival of a Covid vaccine after successful trials, Kumar ordered District Magistrates to monitor the future vaccination drive on a daily basis, an official release said. The state cabinet Tuesday approved inoculation of the entire population of Bihar for Covid-19 free of cost on availability of the vaccine.

Free coronavirus vaccine in the state was promised by the BJP in its manifesto for the recent assembly elections which was released here by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the state government has given an adminstrative sanction to it. BJP is a partner in the state government.

Bihar has been carrying lakh plus testing for coronavirus on a daily basis for months which has helped in timely treatment of the infected, resulting in high percentage of recovery of Covid patients.

The state saw 1,22,444 tests in the past 24 hours on Friday, according to the health bulletin. Bihar has carried a total of over 1.68 crore tests for the virus so far.

Recovery rate in the state was 97.40 per cent Friday, more than the national average of around 94 per cent. As per the updated health bulletin, there are a total of 2,45,933 coronavirus cases in Bihar.

The deadly disease has claimed 1341 casualties in the state so far.

The chief minister while directing the officials to brace up for the vaccination programme told them that the manpower distribution for the purpose should be done in a manner that other health services are not hampered. Besides, he also asked them to make proper and adequate arrangements for storage of the vaccines.

The CM instructed that vaccination should be carried first for the people belonging to vulnerable groups - such as health care workers, frontline workers, priority age-group, peoples representatives, people associated with government work, contractual staff, shopkeepers and businessmen.

Health minister Mangal Pandey, Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar, Health Departments Principal Secretary Pratyaya Amrit, CMs Principal Secretary Chanchal Kumar, CMs Secretaries Manish Kumar Verma, Anupam Kumar and a host of other senior officials attended the meeting. Reviewing work of the health department under "Atmnirbhar Bihar Ke Saat Nischay Part-II" programme, Kumar directed officials to make arrangements for free treatment of children born with hole in their hearts under "Baal Hriday Yojana".

He stated that treatment of heart diseases should be improved further at Indira Gandhi Institute of Cardiology (IGIC) and Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna. All the government and private medical colleges be brought under Bihar Universities of Health Sciences, the CM added.

Stating that the government is doing its best to provide better health care facilities in villages, Kumar said primary health centres, community health centres, sub-divisional hospitals and district hospitals should be connected through telemedicine in order to provide people the medical consultation. Kumar asked the officials concerned to ensure that health sub-centres should be run in a better and regular manner so that people can get the benefits of health services.

He also asked to further expand the ambulance services so that patients can get the facility on time. Earlier, Amrit gave a detailed presentation on various ongoing works of the department that included the update on coronavirus and measures taken to curb its spread and supply chain system on Covid-19 vaccines.