News Updates”Acute Medical Crisis In Himachal Pradesh, COVID Has affected Urban As Well As Rural Areas”: HP High Court Issues Directions Sparsh Upadhyay10 May 2021 12:13 AMShare This – xGiven the fact that the State has witnessed a drastic surge in the Covid-19 positive cases and the fatality in the State are highest in the Country, the Himachal Pradesh High Court last week expanded the scope of a plea to the entire State regarding COVID Management The Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia was dealing with a plea filed in connection with the lack of oxygen facilities at a Government Medical College and non-functioning of 25 ventilators. The Bench noted that there was acute medical crisis in the State of Himachal Pradesh due to sudden surge and spread of COVID-19, which has engulfed not only the urban areas but has also reached the villages. It was also informed to the Court that many deaths have been reported during the past few days from the various parts of the State due to acute shortage of oxygen and there is an acute shortage of life-saving drugs, more particularly, Remdesiver, Tocilizumav and Favipiravir, which are crucial for saving the lives of the COVID-19 patients It was also submitted that in some instances, the dead bodies are allowed to be taken to home rather than being cremated/buried as per standard Corona protocol, thus, giving rise to the spread of Coronavirus amongst the family members and others. The Himachal Pradesh thus issued the following directions against the respondents: Increase the number of authorized laboratories/clinics/hospitals which can carry on the testing for a larger percentage of the population. Increase the number of testing being done in the bigger towns of the State. The State Government should consider the use of other kits, besides the Rapid Antigen Kit, or the RT PCR tests, for increasing the tests being carried out on daily basis. In order to increase the testing facilities in the hill districts of the State, the State Government should consider sending of ‘mobile vans’ which are fully equipped for carrying out the testing of COVID-19 virus. The State should increase the number of dedicated COVID-19 Hospitals. The State is also directed to consider the feasibility of establishing temporary hospitals with the help of any other Central agency. The State is directed to increase the number of beds available in the hospitals. It shall ensure that the majority of the beds are equipped with Oxygen tank and sufficient numbers of the bed are equipped with ventilators. If necessary, the number of ICUs in the hospitals should be increased. The State Government is directed to ensure that the PPE kits and other protective gears, such as gloves, masks, and sanitizer are provided to all the medical staff, especially to the Doctors, Nurses, Ward Boys to look after the COVID-19 patients. The State Government is directed to publish the names and locations of the testing centres, and the names and locations of Hospitals/Dedicated COVID-19 Health Care Centres in the media bulletin on a daily basis. The media bulletin should clearly indicate the total number of beds available in each hospital/Dedicated COVID19 Health Care Centres, and the number of vacant beds available in each hospital. It should also indicate the class of the beds i.e. the number of beds attached with ventilators, number of beds attached with Oxygen cylinders and the number of beds without any Oxygen tank/ Cylinder. We make it absolutely clear that in case the private hospitals refuse to cooperate or reluctant to provide Covid test and covid facilities, then the State Government shall forthwith resort to coercive steps as provided under the Disaster Management Act and also Essential Services Maintenance Act. The State Government shall be free to withdraw the incentive/ recover the amounts etc. Lastly, the State may proceed to take any other coercive or punitive step as may be warranted and otherwise permissible under the law. The State should also consider the purchasing of additional CT Scan Machines in the State as it is learnt that this machine is essential to detect the presence of the second strain of the Covid-19 virus. Also, the State was also directed to furnish the following information: Available bed capacity exclusively for Covid-19 facilities in the State both in Government and private hospitals along with the details of the availability of oxygen (high flow or otherwise). The state shall give the details of the steps taken and proposed to augment the availability of oxygen meeting both the current and projected requirementsPlace on record the plan prepared by the State Government under the Disaster Management Act to tackle the Covid-19 cases. Steps taken to ensure the availability of essential drugs including Remdesivir, Favipiravir and Tocilizumab amongst other prescribed drugs and the modalities which have been set up for controlling the essential drugs for preventing hoarding and ensuring the proper communication of the requirement at the level of each Districts by the District Health Authorities or the Collectors of the Health Department of the State.The State shall provide details along with data with regard to the distribution of the oxygen and further the details proposed to augment the supply of oxygen. The State shall furnish the data and also give the data-wise demand and supply of oxygen for the last two weeks as well as future projected demand and the measures taken for meeting such demand. The State shall ensure the uploading of real time data about the availability of beds in each hospital of the State for Covid-19 patients on its Web Portals and also on the Web Portals of all the Hospitals and also physically display the data outside each hospital on daily basis.The State shall also furnish the steps taken regarding the availability of oxygen for those all the Covid-19 patients, who though may in home isolation but require oxygenExperts speculate a third wave and, therefore, the State shall disclose its roadmap in case the third wave strikes. The State has not carried out any Vaccination Programme for those aged between 18 to 44 on the pretext of non-availability of vaccine. Therefore, the State Government is directed to disclose clearly as to from which date, it shall commence the vaccination for the age group as aforesaid.The State shall furnish its stand regarding the importance (if any) of the ventilators in treatment of Covid and how it proposes to put to use the ventilators that are lying idle with the State in various hospitals. The State is directed to furnish the complete details regarding the availability of essential medicines required for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, more particularly, the availability of Remdesivir, Favipiravir and Tocilizumab and in case of short-fall, the steps taken in this regard. In the meanwhile, respondent No.4 is directed to ensure the adequate availability of the essential drugs, more particularly, the lifesaving drugs to the State of Himachal Pradesh and enumerate in detail the steps taken in this regard on or before the next date of hearing. 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The Ministry of Tourism, the Directorate for Quality Management, International Cooperation and the EU, led by Assistant Minister Olivera Shejbal, as a level 1 intermediary body within the Operational Program ‘Effective Human Resources 2014-2020’, organized a workshop on “Centers of Competence in Tourism (CEKOM “with representatives of the economy in the tourism and hospitality sector)Regional centers of competence are places of excellence in vocational education and training in which programs of regular vocational education, vocational training and lifelong learning as well as other forms of formal and non-formal education (work-based learning, competitions and presentations of knowledge and skills, etc.) will be implemented. The centers will be established in five sectors: tourism and hospitality, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and ICT, agriculture and health.Through an interactive workshop, led by Marija Kalinic, an expert in education in the field of human resources, representatives of the economy in the tourism and hospitality sector as potential partners were introduced to the basic concept and through a joint contribution identified the role, needs and expectations of employers tourism. Through the presentation of the concept of regional centers of competence in the tourism and hospitality sector, the Ministry of Tourism presented what distinguishes CEKOM from secondary vocational schools, the five basic features of CEKOM and the role of the employer in their establishment and internship programs.Photo: MintThe establishment of regional competence centers is planned within the Operational Program ‘Effective Human Resources 2014-2020’, in investment priority 10iv: “Improving the importance of education and training systems for the labor market, facilitating the transition from school to work, strengthening the vocational education system and training and their quality, inter alia through skills prediction mechanisms, curriculum adaptation and the introduction and development of work-based learning systems, including dual learning systems and apprenticeship programs “, within specific objective 2:” Modernizing the supply of vocational education and raising its qualities in order to increase the employability of students as well as opportunities for further education ”.The Ministry of Tourism points out that they continue to actively participate in creating conditions for announcing tenders for the establishment of regional centers of competence in the tourism and hospitality sector, and the basic precondition is the adoption of a new Law on Vocational Education under the Ministry of Science and Education.