On Friday, the Ministry of Health released guidelines on the rational use of Personal Protective Equipment based on the settings approach. This shall be applicable to healthcare professionals and others working in non-COVID hospitals and non-COVID treatment areas of a hospital. The use of PPE depends on the risk profile of the healthcare worker. It has prescribed the PPE to be used in different settings such as the out-patient department, in-patient department, emergency department, ancillary services, and ambulance services. At the same time, the Ministry of Health has stressed that PPE cannot be substituted for basic preventive health measures such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
.@MoHFW_INDIA issues additional guidelines on rational use of Personal Protective Equipment (setting approach for Health functionaries working in non-COVID areas)— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 15, 2020
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For the persons working at the help desk, doctors' chamber, pre-anesthetic check-up clinic, pharmacy counter, and involved in sanitation services, the recommended PPE ranges from a triple layer medical mask to latex examination gloves. While the individuals in the ICU need to wear an N95 mask, goggles, nitrile examination gloves, face shield, the PPE suggested for the ones present in the operation theatre is a triple layer medical mask, face shield, sterile latex gloves, and goggles. The medical professionals dealing with high-risk patients have been recommended to use the full complement of PPE.
On the other hand, the recommended PPE for those working in blood banks and laundry is a triple layer medical mask and latex examination gloves. The person driving an ambulance has been asked to wear a triple layer medical mask and latex examination gloves. Additionally, the Ministry of Health guidelines state that the patients and their attendants should wear a face cover.
Earlier in the day, Union Finance Minister Sitharaman listed 11 measures pertaining to enhancing the infrastructure of the agriculture and allied sectors and associated governance reforms as part of the economic package. Some of the measures include providing Rs.1 lakh crore for farm-gate infrastructure, Rs.10,000 crore for Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana worth Rs.20,000 crore, National Animal Disease Control Programme worth Rs. 13,343 crore, Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs.15,000 crore, promotion of herbal cultivation, a scheme for beekeeping, and extension of Operation Greens to all fruits and vegetables. The Union Finance Minister also elaborated on governance reforms such as an amendment to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to enable better price realisation for farmers, legislation on agricultural marketing reforms and creation of a legal framework for ensuring assured returns and risk mitigation for farmers.