Frontline workers to get face shields

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Panaji: The state government has decided to provide ‘face shields’ to frontline workers who are playing a major role in preventing, containing and managing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The government has already placed an order for 1000 face shields for frontline warriors in both the districts.

“To ensure the safety of all the staff including police personnel, administrative officials,  those manning border check-posts and  the staffers, who are helping out during the arrival of trains and  flights, we have taken a decision to provide them face shields,” health secretary Nila Mohanan told a press conference in Panaji.

The government has already provided 100 face shields to the police personnel and another 200 face shields will be provided to them on Thursday.

Mohanan said the government is exploring the possibility of providing frontline workers posted at the state borders with covers quite similar to that of a PPE that can be worn as a gown on top of the uniform.

Stating that there are 40 ICU beds in the  Margao-based COVID hospital,  she said  the hospital is equipped with 16 ventilators.

The state  has around  100 ventilators in  different government-run hospitals.

The government has placed an order for 200 ventilators with a particular firm which  will supply the first lot of 25 ventilators by next week and remaining 175 in batches of 25 by July.

When asked if the 200 beds in the COVID Hospital would be enough when the state is witnessing a spike in COVID positive cases, Mohanan said, “We do have a Plan B… We will not rely only on our ESI COVID Hospital if the numbers increase… we have chalked out a plan for expansion, if required.”

She informed that private facilities have already been requisitioned by the respective collectors and that can be taken over if the situation demands.

Information and publicity secretary Sanjay Kumar said  the government has collected Rs 58,77,000 as fines from lockdown violators.