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Second wave presented many challenges: Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope

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Mumbai, Apr 20: Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said the second wave of COVID-19 has brought in before the administration a slew of challenges, including finding adequate oxygen and medicine supplies.

The state government has been finding out ways to tackle the challenges with solutions, Tope said, speaking at a healthcare event organized by IMC. It can be noted that Maharashtra is the worst affected state, accounting for the maximum number of infections during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

coronavirus

"The second wave which has come has surely developed a lot of challenges in front of us. The supply of oxygen, supply of Remdesivir medicine is a challenge. But of course, we are finding out all ways and means as a solution for these problems," Tope said.

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He also thanked the central government for "encouragement" in granting medical facilities through setting up of medical colleges in every district, and quickly added that the state government is also not behind on this aspect. Tope said the state government has sanctioned up to half a dozen medical colleges this year and committed to do more in the coming years.

Each of these colleges comes with a 500-bed attached hospital which can be useful in providing tertiary medical care to the local population. Tope said accessibility, affordability, accountability and acceptability are important from a public health sector perspective, and asked doctors and health workers to be more ethical.

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Stating that the pandemic being faced over the last one year has taught a lot, Tope said spending on the health sector was very less in the last decades but now we need to strengthen infrastructure, increase manpower and train the manpower.

The Maharashtra health department has been upgrading and ramping up the health facilities, which includes increasing the number of beds, and appointing the doctors and paramedics, he said.

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