Hospitalisations continue to remain low in Chennai

The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital had seven in-patients with COVID-19 as on July 3.

The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital had seven in-patients with COVID-19 as on July 3. | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Although the number of persons testing positive for COVID-19 has been steadily rising in the State, those requiring hospitalisation and those in need of oxygen support, remain very low. Nevertheless, hospitals, especially those in the government sector, are on alert and asked to earmark facilities and teams.

In the last two weeks, daily COVID-19 cases have been on the increase in the State, with Chennai leading the table. However, hospitalisation remains at about 5%.

R. Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education, said that COVID-19 admissions were very few. “We are seeing asymptomatic patients not requiring admissions. Persons have fever, cold and body pain for three days and they recover on the fourth or fifth day.” They were not seeing severe cases of COVID-19.

In Chennai, 83 patients with COVID-19 are undergoing treatment in government facilities as on July 3. This included government medical college hospitals.

Of the seven persons admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, only two required oxygen of less than five litres each. “That too, it is the aged, those with comorbidities such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney diseases and cardiac ailments,” E. Theranirajan, dean, RGGGH, said.

At the Government Medical College hospital in Omandurar, 12 of the 27 in-patients are on oxygen support. While two of them were on non-invasive ventilation, the others required less than five litres of oxygen, dean R. Jayanthi said.

The Government Stanley Medical College hospital has 12 in-patients and only two of them were on oxygen support. “These two patients were undergoing treatment for other chronic medical problems. Though cases are rising, it is unlike the second wave. We do not see patients with severe COVID-19. Nevertheless, it is important to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and not ignore a mild fever as a viral infection,” P. Balaji, hospital dean, said.

Similar was the situation in private hospitals. Srinivas Rajagopala, senior consultant, Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Kauvery Hospital, said they had in-patients in the last two weeks but the numbers were low. “Most of them are not on oxygen. Most of them are admitted because they are worried about their symptoms. They have fever and risk factors. So, it is mostly the elderly and those with risk factors who are admitted,” he said.

At MGM Healthcare, Shreevidya Venkatraman, senior consultant-Internal Medicine, said people who were seeking admissions were those having high grade fever, severe body pain and throat pain, and/or are panicking. “They are stable and most of them have taken three doses of the vaccine. We are admitting patients with COVID-19 along with other medical problems such as high sugar level or cardiac ailments,” she said.

Doctors were seeing several patients in the outpatient department, who were mostly advised home isolation. “People should not be afraid of testing. Irrespective of the result, the treatment for those with symptoms is the same. It is mandatory to wear masks when going to public places,” she said.

Hospitals on alert

Though hospitalisations remained low, the Health department is taking no chances. “We have asked all institutions to be prepared, including in terms of medicines and oxygen. We have 80 oxygen generation units and about 15,000 oxygen concentrators ready though oxygen requirement has not increased. In addition, we have asked hospitals to earmark outpatient and in-patient wards and doctor teams for patients with COVID-19. Special committees comprising the deans, medical superintendents, matrons, and doctors including physicians and anaesthetists should be in place,” Dr. Narayana Babu said.

He added that hospitals were put on alert as the daily cases were rising. “All precautions are being taken. We have told hospitals to strictly enforce masking on the premises, including among patient attenders, doctors, nurses and staff, and take precautions at the hostels. They should concentrate on improving vaccination,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 10:24:24 pm |