The State government on Thursday initiated the process of putting in place adequate infrastructure and manpower in anticipation of the coronavirus pandemic graduating into its third phase.

The Health department has charted out the course of action that would be rolled out, in case the Covid-19 disease enters the community transmission phase. As part of these efforts, the State government has decided to convert Gandhi Hospital into an exclusive standalone corona treatment hospital in Telangana.

To sharpen surveillance and track all the passengers who returned fro foreign nations to Telangana, the State government has also decided to increase the number of surveillance teams by roping in additional manpower from various government departments.

At a review meeting on coronavirus preparedness on Thursday with top health officials, Health Minister Etela Rajender said that the State government has dedicated all its energies and resources to contain Covid-19 in its second stage in Telangana.

However, we need to anticipate and plan ahead for worst case scenarios. All the persons who recently came back to Telangana from affected countries will be tracked aggressively and meticulously and the data will be collected and maintained,” he said.

Authorities have decided to ensure all field level workers, including Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), are available 24 hours at Primary and Community Health Centres. It was also decided not to sanction leave to healthcare workers of all cadres across the State.

To ensure presence of field level healthcare workers at PHCs, CHCs, Area and District Hospitals, health officials have also decided to provide them with food and travel facilities.

The review meeting also held deliberations on augmenting the number of isolation beds, manpower and medical equipment needed to handle the situation in the third phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

The health department has decided to fully shift other medical wings of Gandhi Hospital to Osmania General Hospital (OGH) by this month-end. Already the outpatient, elective and emergency surgeries at Gandhi Hospital are being performed at OGH. It has also been decided to convert the entire Area Hospital at King Koti into a standalone coronavirus hospital.

In case of the onset of third phase of Covid-19 in Telangana, the health officials also will tap the resources (beds and infrastructure) available at private medical colleges and hospitals across the State. In this regard, a committee headed by Vice-Chancellor of Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences (KNRHS), Dr. Karunakar Reddy, is working on modalities to rope in private healthcare facilities.

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