Viskhapatnam sees spike in new COVID cases

 A patient undergoing treatment at the COVID Isolation Ward at KGH, in Visakhapatnam.

A patient undergoing treatment at the COVID Isolation Ward at KGH, in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

On Tuesday, Visakhapatnam city recorded 51 COVID-19 positive cases and in the last 10 days the active cases have gone up from 10 to 238.

There is a significant increase in the cases and according to the District Health and Medical Officer K. Vijayalakshmi, the positivity rate on Tuesday was around 17%.

The spread of the virus has once again touched the health sector and three staff nurses and two doctors have been infected at Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS). All the infected have been put under home isolation, said VIMS Director K. Rambabu.

“All the 238 cases are in home isolation and there was no need for any hospitalisation. We have to wait and watch for a few more days, before concluding that the fourth wave has begun,” said the DMHO. “But at the same time we are gearing up to handle any further outbreak,” she added.

Testing facilities

Based on the instructions from the District Collector, the Health Department has asked all the 24 PHCs to start the testing facilities. “We already have the testing facilities running at all government hospitals such as the KGH and the Chest Hospitals and now we have reopened them at PHCs and CHCs,” she said.

Right now on an average about 300 tests are being conducted and the two mobile vehicles have been readied to take up the sample collection.

Special committees

This apart, the district administration has reviewed the functioning of the special committees such as hospital committee, cluster containment committee, isolation committee and oxygen supply monitoring committee, and they have been made active.

In the past, from the first wave onwards, the district administration had constituted about 22 committees, each headed by an expert to contain the spread of the disease.

‘Same variant’

Throwing some light on the variant and severity of the disease, Dr. Rambabu informed The Hindu that it appears to be the same Omicron variant that infected the people during the third wave, in the beginning of this year.

The symptoms are similar, such as fever, headache, body pain, cold and cough. But the only worry is for people who are immunosuppressed and those with co-morbidities, he said.

Another area of concern that the experts expressed was the below 12 years category. Almost over 90% of the population are now been vaccinated, only the below 12 years are left. They could now become the super spreaders, said Dr. Rambabu.

And the only way to keep the virus at bay is to go back to following the basic COVID protocols, such as wearing of quality mask, frequent sanitising of the hands and avoiding public places, said P.V. Sudhakar, former Principal of Andhra Medical College.

Talking about the preparedness at VIMS, the State COVID hospital, Dr. Rambabu said that 500 fully-oxygenated beds have been kept ready and the fever ward has been shifted. Two oxygen plants are tested and kept ready for operation if required, one 30 kl oxygen tank is filled and kept ready and in addition the hospital has 330 oxygen cylinders.

“Learning from the second wave, we have kept adequate stock of medicines and other requirements such as PPE kits, masks and gloves. Whoever is coming with fever we are conducting a Rapid Antigen test and if required sending them for RTPCR to KGH,” said Dr. Rambabu.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 4:08:05 pm |