Andhra Pradesh

Casualties, new cases refuse to abate in South Coastal A.P.

A COVID-19 patient awaiting allotment of a bed at the Government General Hospital in Ongole on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: KOMMURI SRINIVAS

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread rapidly in South Coastal Andhra Pradesh, infecting close to 3,000 persons and claiming the lives of eight in a span of 24 hours.

The death toll crossed the 1,300-mark in the region as six patients in Prakasam district and two others in Nellore district succumbed to the virus, according to a health bulletin released by the State government on Thursday. Normal life was hit as authorities imposed an 18-hour curfew for the second day on Thursday.

Barricades were erected on arterial roads in Nellore and Ongole to prevent unnecessary travel by people from 12 p.m. onwards. Shopkeepers downed the shutters even before noon to return to their homes early as police personnel strictly enforced the curfew with a view to breaking the chain of transmission of the virus in the region.

As many as 1,666 persons in Prakasam district and another 1,292 persons in Nellore district contracted the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the number of active cases past 28,000 in the two districts.

Health professionals scrambled to treat the large number of patients as the available health infrastructure turned out to be inadequate to handle the active cases which poured into the Vidya Vidan Parishad hospitals as well as urban and rural public health centres.

Health workers arranged oxygen cylinders on a temporary basis for patients waiting for allotment of beds at the Government General Hospital (GGH) in Ongole, which overflowed with patients. Patients were seen waiting for long hours for admission into the hospital.

The overall caseload crossed 1.68 lakh.

“We used to manage with two oxygen cylinders for a week or so earlier. But we now require six to eight cylinders while transporting patients by the 108 ambulance in the wake of a rapid rise in cases,” explained 108 Emergency services district manager S.Vijaykumar.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee leader Sripathy Prakasam demanded declaration of a ‘health emergency’ in the State and diversion of funds from other departments to the health department as the number of active cases rose swiftly. “All government buildings should be converted into COVID Care Centres (CCCs) as home isolation for positive cases is resulting in all family members of an infected person contracting the virus,” he said.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Ongole Lok Sabha unit president N. Balaji urged the State government to vaccinate all persons above the age of 18 on a priority basis to stop the rise in cases.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:29:12 AM |

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