Visakhapatnam

District officials gear up for ‘third wave’ of COVID-19

Ever since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the district had a bad experience, especially during the second wave. Both number of cases and deaths peaked during April and May this year.

Though the number of cases has declined now, it is still to slide below the 1% positivity rate.

The district administration is gearing up for the third wave. Officials have been taking steps to increasing the number of hospital beds and strengthening the oxygen supply. They are also planning to conduct awareness camps in the next 25 days. District Collector V. Vinay Chand has said that there are around 3,450 oxygenated beds in the district and steps being taken to add 1,300 to them. “We are laying new pipelines and modifying the existing ones at the hospitals. Similarly, there are 995 ICU beds in the district and we have decided to add around 400 more beds to have a total of around 1,389 ICU beds,” he said.

The Collector said that apart from increasing the bed capacity, the administration is also strengthening the oxygen supply to meet the demand.

He said liquid medical oxygen is the first line of supply. That is backed by PSA-based gaseous oxygen plants which may be 1,000 or 500 LPM plants as per the hospital bed strength, in the second level. “For the third level, we will have D-type cylinders to back up the oxygen supply. There are around 2,500 of them in the district. The fourth line of supply will be oxygen concentrators,” he said.

Paediatric care wards

Mr. Vinay Chand said that exclusive paediatric care wards will be set up at the Family Welfare Ward at the Government Hospital for Mental Care (GHMC), King George Hospital (KGH) and Gosha Hospital. Apart from these, Special New Born Care Unit (SNBCU) and New Born Stabilisation Units (NBSU), at all existing paediatric facilities, will be strengthened and used as paediatric care units. Children hospitals (private) will also be notified at the appropriate time, he added.

According to the Collector, vaccination is the key to control the spread of the disease and the Health Department is vaccinating people in four categories in a planned manner. As of now they are giving priority to complete the second dose of vaccine for the frontline staff and workers who have already taken their first dose in March.

The second category includes pregnant and lactating women. About 38% to 40% of lactating mothers have been given the first jab. The third category which is for people above 45 years of age. About 72% in this category have been given their first dose. Apart from the three categories, the government has also decided to vaccinate teachers on a priority basis, he said.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 8:37:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/district-officials-gear-up-for-third-wave-of-covid-19/article35501444.ece

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