Kozhikode

Minister calls for efforts to check COVID-19 mortality rate

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja has called for high alert by people as well as health workers to reduce the number of deaths due to COVID-19, pointing out that experts had predicted a high mortality rate in Kerala compared with other places.

Addressing the media after a review meeting here on Monday, she claimed that a majority of those who died in the State owing to COVID-19 had other health issues. The high prevalence of lifestyle diseases, high population density and a large number of senior citizens were some of the reasons. Constant vigil would be required to reduce the number of deaths. Telemedicine facilities would be set up at medical college hospitals to ensure individual attention to people who get admitted there.

Ms. Shylaja claimed that the death rate in the State since October this year was lower compared with that in previous years, even during the situation caused by the pandemic. She said quoting health experts that the infection spread was likely to come down by November. This was mainly due to the enforcement of the social distancing norms, wearing of face masks, and hand hygiene. The health systems, however, had been equipped to address a possible spike in cases.

Patients should not die due to lack of treatment facilities, she said. The Minister noted that directives had been issued to medical college hospitals to make required number of ventilators available to the patients. Sixty-eight ventilators had been set aside for COVID-19 patients at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode. Only 14 among them were being used by patients now, She said.

Steps had also been taken to increase the number of beds with oxygen support. Right now, there was stock of 177 tonnes of oxygen, of which only 31 tonnes were being used daily. The Kozhikode MCH right now had 300 beds with oxygen support and 211 of them were being used now. Another 200 such beds would be set up. Ms. Shylaja claimed that there was a shortage of doctors though the government was trying to solve the issue.

Ayurvedic clinics would be set up in all districts to address the issue of post-COVID syndrome among people who had recovered from the infection, she said.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 2:43:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/minister-calls-for-efforts-to-check-covid-19-mortality-rate/article32947324.ece

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