Andhra Pradesh

Recovery rate slow during second wave, says doctor

A gasping COVID-19 patient tries to breathe in oxygen from a temporary cylinder outside the Government General Hospital in Ongole.   | Photo Credit: KOMMURI SRINIVAS

A group of patients with oxygen cylinders under the shade of a tree is no spectacle from Nallamala forests in Prakasam.

Right in the heart of Ongole, a steady stream of patients gasping for breath can be seen trying to get much-needed relief by arranging oxygen cylinders on their own on the picturesque Government General Hospital (GGH) campus and desperately wait for allotment of beds.

Scores of anxious relatives of patients can be seen seen waiting at the reception centre, even as the patients lie on the pavements as the number of fresh cases, many of them critical ones, rose exponentially in the recent times resulting in a very tight bed availability situation at the GGH as also in Vaidyavidan Parishad hospitals and private hospitals.

“'We have converted all the beds in the GGH to oxygen beds and admitting only critical cases,” said COVID-19 wing nodal officer at GGH John Richardson, leading a team of 120 medical officers and over 500 nurses providing medical treatment round the clock.

The active cases dropped to less than 50, as Prakasam district registered zero cases on many days till March 2021 before new cases started to rise once again exponentially to cross the 13,000-mark now.

“The virus now is more virulent that the one during the first wave. As a result, recovery is slow,” he observed after a whistle-stop examination of a large number of patients on the floor in the COVID-19 ward overseen by him.

“The availability of beds is very tight as the cases have risen in geometric proportion of late,” he reveals during a conversation with The Hindu. “The health situation is very critical with very heavy case load. It may take another month to bring the situation under control. We will be out of the woods in about two months’ time,” he opined as the fresh positive cases continued unabated day in and day out.

More than 700 patients required oxygen therapy at the hospital at any given point of time at the hospital with a bed with 20 kl oxygen plant. “There is no shortage of medicines as such in the hospital with 1,200 beds to treat COVID patients,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prakasam District Medical and Health officer P. Ratnavalli explained that only critical cases were referred to 35 designated hospitals. About 900 patients not requiring hositalisation were being treated in the 19 COVID Care Centres functioning across the district. Rest of the positive cases were being provided treatment from their homes.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 1:13:08 AM |

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