Steep TPR drives Kalahandi’s virus burden

by Kalahandi Info
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The fact that the requirement of oxygen during the second wave has gone up by four times as compared to last year remains a concern.

BHAWANIPATNA: With a test positivity rate (TPR) of 38 per cent, Kalahandi has steadily turned into one of the Covid hotspots of the State and its impact can be felt at the hospitals.  

The district, which reported 282 cases in last 24 hours, has a 94-bed COVID hospital at Kamthana in Bhawanipatna.

The total number of patients admitted to the hospital, which has only five ventilators, went up to 106 on the day, sources said. 

There are also three COVID Care Centres (CCC) at Agriculture College campus, Bhawanipatna, Musiguda and Parla. The centre at Agriculture College has 140 beds, while the ones at Musiguda and Parla have 100 beds each.

However, considering the steep rise in cases, the number of beds seems inadequate. What’s worrying is that the district has just 134 beds equipped with oxygen including all the beds at the hospital at Kamthana while the rest are in the three CCCs.

The active cases count in the district now stands at 2,025. As many as 312 patients have been admitted to the Covid hospital at Kamthana and the three Covid care centres while 36 patients were referred to hospitals in other districts.

The rest are in home isolation. In view of a rise in cases, the district administration has decided to open Covid Care Centres at Kesinga, Koksara and the Government Engineering College here with 100 beds each. Once these centres become functional, the number of beds with oxygen support in the district will go up to 250. 

As of now, there is no shortage of oxygen in the district where 30 cylinders of 50 litre capacity each are being used at the hospitals. The oxygen plant at Gaigon in the district has the capacity to fill 200 cylinders per day.

The fact that the requirement of oxygen during the second wave has gone up by four times as compared to last year remains a concern. 

This apart, the district is also reeling under shortage of doctors. Of the 10 doctors posted to the COVID hospital and COVID care centres in the district, only four have joined duty till date. 

The number of deaths due to the disease across the district can only be speculated. Officially since the start of second wave, only six deaths have been confirmed by the government in the district. Unofficially the figure is over 22 but it can only be confirmed after a medical audit.

There is no record of patients losing their lives during treatment at nursing homes and hospitals in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. 

Meanwhile, amid the surge, the focus of the district administration is on intensive testing. While door-to-door screening was conducted in Bhawanipatna on April 18 and 19, similar exercise was carried out at Kesinga, Junagarh and Dharamgarh on the day.

As many as 17 teams have been engaged for collecting swabs apart from 18 rapid response teams to deal with emergencies. The district administration has set a target to increase the number of tests to 1,400 to 1,500 per day.

In terms of infrastructure, the district has 20 ambulances to carry COVID patients including two equipped with advanced life support system. One more ambulance with life support system is expected to reach the district on Sunday.

The district administration has heightened vigil at Odisha-Chhattisgarh border at Sandhikulihari. This apart, in several places like Dharamgarh and Jaipatna, traders have decided to close their shops for nine days from Saturday to contain the spread of the virus.


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