Andhra Pradesh

Chittoor ready with action plan

The high incidence of COVID-19 cases in Chittoor district has forced the district administration to go on mission mode to tackle its impact in the much-feared third wave in the immediate future.

The two-hour additional relaxation in curfew (6 a.m. to 2 p.m.) declared in State till June 20 was not allowed in the district and it had to stick to the earlier timings of 6 a.m. to 12 noon. The authorities have even gone for a complete lockdown in some municipal wards, divisions and villages as COVID-19 cases showed no signs of abating. While the first wave in 2020 between March and November had swept through urban areas, the second spell had affected rural areas. Currently, more than 80% of the cases are in rural mandals while the urban belt is experiencing some relief.

During the past week, the daily average of cases has been more than 900 while casualties remained around a dozen.

However, the district officials are confident of facing the so-called third wave as they are better equipped with manpower and infrastructure.

District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO) Dr. U. Sreehari tells The Hindu: “The third wave is viewed as a big threat to children. But 25% of the cases in the first and second waves in Chittoor district were children, with only 8% of them admitted to hospitals. Only 2% of them were treated in ICUs and with a cent percent recovery rate. The hospital infrastructure in Chittoor, Tirupati and Madanapalle divisions is our strength.”

If the third wave hits Chittoor, it could result in about 2.37 lakh infections, according to an action plan readied by the district administration, which shows about a 5% hike over the current figures. The district till June 18 witnessed over 1,500 casualties, the highest in the State.

More staff needed

The action plan shows a need for additional posts of 54 paediatricians as against existing 20 and 75 staff nurses as against 33 and 174 supporting staff as against 10 existing (for paediatric care) in the hospitals under the AP Vaidya Vignana Parishad. Bulk stocks of paediatric ventilators, masks and other emergency medical devices have also been sought in the third wave preparedness plan. “The strategy includes utilisation of teachers and education assistants in contact tracing, awareness spreading and ensuring general well-being of children. Teaching staff, being close to children, are also aware of possible comorbidities and other vulnerabilities in them. Such children will be mapped and a monitoring mechanism will be adopted for them. A similar strategy will be applied to ICDS staff as well,” says Dr. Sreehari.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 6:56:08 PM |

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