Kerala

Health authorities on their toes in Kottayam

Even as the emergency situation triggered by a second wave of COVID-19 continue unabated, a depleting stock of vaccine has put the health authorities in Kottayam on their toes.

According to Jacob Varghese, District Medical Officer, Kottayam, the concerns over a community spread during the second wave coupled with the reports on increasing test positivity rate has pushed up the demand for vaccines to unprecedented levels. While the average daily demand for vaccines in the district stands around 14,000 doses, the doses actually supplied remains just over 8,000.

“With about 12,000 people receiving the vaccine on Tuesday, the stock of vaccines has gone further down to around 8,000 doses. This will be enough to meet the requirement for just another day,” noted the DMO.

In view of the situation, the authorities are now planning to regulate the crowd by limiting the supply of vaccines to only those registered with the COWIN portal.

Hundreds of people have gathered the vaccination centres across Kottayam since last week, sending the social distancing norms for a toss. With no let-up in the crowd, the Health authorities have been forced to seek intervention by the local police on several occasions.

As per estimates, the district on Tuesday reported 1,510 fresh COVID-19 cases and of this, 1,489 people contracted the virus through local transmission. With 212 cases, Kottayam municipality reported a record number of cases, while Changanassery came second with 52 cases.

The boarding dormitory of the regular batch of the KE School at Mannanam has been declared as an institutional cluster .

The district currently has 9,115 patients and the number is expected to surge further as the authorities have set a target to test at least 17,800 samples over the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, official sources said any further delay in opening COVID First-Line Treatment Centres was likely to affect the case-load management. According to them, shortness of breath is higher among symptomatic patients in the second wave, which warrants non-invasive ventilation support.

The authorities, however, appear to be struggling to set apart beds having oxygen support facility to high-risk patients as beds in COVID special hospitals and Second Line Treatment Centers (SLTCs) are rapidly being filled with medium risk patients due to a shortage of CFLTCs.

With more than 5,000 fresh cases over the past four days, the district administration has introduced more restrictions on public life in the district. A meeting convened by District Collector M. Anjana on Tuesday gave directions in this regard to the sectoral magistrates.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 8:00:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/health-authorities-on-their-toes-in-kottayam/article34368482.ece

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