Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Rajasthan, the state government on Tuesday directed all private hospitals to reserve 25 per cent beds in regular wards as well as in ICU wards for coronavirus patients. Prior to this, only 10 per cent beds were reserved for Covid-19 patients.
“Looking at the rise of Covid-19 cases in the state, we have directed private hospitals to reserve beds and ICU wards for those affected by coronavirus”, Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma told Outlook.
Asked about the number of beds in government hospitals, Sharma said, “We have enough beds in government hospitals and have also increased the number of ventilators and oxygen machines, there.”
Rajasthan records highest Covid-19 spike in 4 months
Rajasthan’s Covid caseload rose to 2,429 on Monday, with the state reporting 700 cases, its highest daily spike since November 2020. The state also reported 12 new fatalities as its death toll rose to 2,829.
Of the 700 new cases, Jaipur recorded 526 infections and more than seven districts in the state reported 100-plus cases.
Following the spike, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot held a high-level review meeting on Monday night to take stock of the situation.
According to a senior official present in the meeting, emphasis was laid on public participation and support in containing the spread of the virus.
New Covid-19 guidelines
Earlier on Sunday, the Rajasthan government had made RT-PCR tests mandatory for people entering the state and those travelling outside. Besides shutting schools, the state government has also imposed a night curfew and ordered closure of multiplexes and gymnasiums.
“It will be mandatory for all persons entering the state to submit a negative coronavirus test report, not older than 72 hours before arrival in Rajasthan,” Sharma told Outlook.
According to the guidelines issued by principal secretary (home) Abhay Kumar, the government has also capped the number of people at social gatherings to 100.
As per government guidelines, night curfew will remain in force from 8 pm to 6 am and students enrolled in classes 1-9, will not have to attend school till April 19.
The order also states that classes for all college students, except final-year students, will remain suspended during the period but students can appear for practical exams with permission.
While the spike in cases has alarm bells going off in Rajasthan, the number of people who have recovered from the virus offered a glimmer of hope. The state’s Covid-19 recovery rate rose to 94.84 per cent on Monday.
76.2 Lakh people vaccinated
As on April 5, 76.2 lakh people were vaccinated against the virus in Rajasthan. Of them, 66.8 lakh people have been given the first dose and 9.3 lakh people have been given the second dose.
Raising concern over the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases the country, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to the Central government to remove the age restriction for the Covid-19 vaccination.
“Currently we are vaccinating around 5 lakh people every day in Rajasthan. But we need more vaccines so that those above 45 are vaccinated in large numbers. Also, there is a need of lifting the age bar by the union government so that most people are vaccinated and mass immunity is built”, Sharma said.