Madurai

1.18 lakh beds ready to treat COVID-19 patients: Health Secretary

The number of beds in government hospitals and government medical college hospitals in the State had been increased to 1.18 lakh for treating COVID-19 patients, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan has said.

After chairing a review meeting here on Wednesday to examine the ongoing anti-COVID-19 operations in the district and inspecting the Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital and a fever clinic, he said the number of beds had been increased to 1.18 lakh from 70,000 even as patients had been treated at several stages like hospitals, care centres and home isolation based on symptoms.

Since some positive patients have other health issues and need oxygen support, the medical facility was being created additionally in hospitals at a cost of ₹ 150 crore. This work would be completed soon. He warned that hospitals charging exorbitantly for treating COVID-19 patients would have to face music as the government had started taking stringent action against those hospitals on receiving complaints from affected patients.“The affected patients or their relatives may register their complaints in this connection by calling 104,” he said.

Medical waste generated during the pandemic should be handled with extreme care as per the protocol formulated by the World Health Organisation. When asked about the COVID-19 related deaths (58 deaths till August 4) in Thoothukudi, he said the district’s death rate was only 0.70% even as the State’s average stood at 1.62%, which is also significantly low.

Collector Sandeep Nanduri, Corporation Commissioner V.P. Jayaseelan, Sub-Collector, Thoothukudi, Simranjeet Singh, City Health Officer Arunkumar, Dean, Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital Revathi Balan, and senior health department officials accompanied the Secretary during his visit to the Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital and the fever clinic at KVK Nagar.

Later, the Health Secretary visited a containment zone at Armed Reserve Line in Palayamkottai along with Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish and Corporation Commissioner G. Kannan. He said the number of COVID-19 positive cases per day in Tamil Nadu had fallen from 7,000 to 5,000 which was a good sign. The government, which had so far conducted 28 lakh RT–PCR tests and is conducting 60,000 tests a day now, had instructed officials to increase the tests to identify patients at the earliest. Even though death rate in Tamil Nadu was just 1.62%, the government was working overtime to reduce it further.

The Health Secretary said the number of containment zones in Tirunelveli City had come down from 500 to 160.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 1:48:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/health/article32278116.ece

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