Andhra Pradesh

Is the ‘second wave’ coming in Andhra Pradesh?

With several countries and a few States in the country witnessing another wave of COVID-19 infections, the possibility of the occurrence of a similar trend in Andhra Pradesh, which has the second-highest tally in the country, has come to the fore.

Ministers, Collectors and other bureaucrats have warned the public of a possible second wave and announced that they have all arrangements in place to tackle the rise in the incidence as being witnessed in New Delhi.

In Andhra Pradesh, there is no sign of a rise in the number of cases as the downward trend in daily new cases has been constant for at least the past two months. The pandemic curve appears to have almost flattened after witnessing a single-day highest peak on August 26, which was three months ago.

In the past fortnight, an average of 1,100 cases per day were reported while an average of 65,000 samples were tested.

The State reported its first case on March 12 when a foreign returnee tested positive in Nellore. About 38 weeks later, as of November 27, the State witnessed 8.65 lakh cases and 6,970 of them succumbed to the disease. The State’s COVID-19 death rate at 0.81% is the lowest in the country and the tests per million ratio at 1.8 lakh the highest among the States with higher caseloads.

However, the resumption of all social activity including educational institutions, gatherings at function halls, markets, movie theatres (with a limited audience) and the onset of the winter and many districts still reporting over 100 cases daily has raised doubts over a possible spike in infections in the coming days.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare is, however, prepared to face any increase in the COVID caseload.

“Occurrence of another wave of infections couldn’t be confirmed scientifically yet. However, we are well prepared to face any such spike in cases. We haven’t downgraded anything yet and same testing capacity and hospital facilities are available and everything is functioning at full capacity,” Department of Health and Family Welfare Commissioner Katamneni Bhaskar tells The Hindu.

Coastal belt

Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts which share borders in the same order in the coastal belt continued to report more cases even as the remaining eight districts saw fewer cases. As a result, the five districts now have 9,086 active COVID cases, which is 75% of the State’s total active cases.

While East Godavari still has the highest caseload Krishna has the highest death rate of 1.39%. West Godavari has the second-highest caseload.

Krishna district has been witnessing more cases and deaths. In the past 10 days, the State saw over 10,000 new cases and Krishna alone reported 1,621 of them. It was followed by East Godavari, West Godavari, Guntur and Chittoor with more than 1,000 cases in 10 days.

Only 11% beds occupied

As per the Health Department’s incident management system, there are 27,234 beds, including 3,666 in ICU and 14,380 with oxygen supply, available in the State in 128 hospitals. Of them, only 2,973 beds, which is 10.9%, were occupied as on Friday evening and most of the active patients are under home isolation.

The State government has recently accorded administrative sanction for ₹50 crore to the Health Department for procurement of more COVID-19 testing kits, medicines and consumables besides operation and maintenance of COVID care centres and testing centres.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 1:07:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/is-the-second-wave-coming/article33216609.ece

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