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Bengal doctors worried about post Puja COVID-19 situation

A volunteer uses a thermal scanner at the Hatibagan Readymade Bazar Kalyan Samiti market in Kolkata. File   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

The medical fraternity in West Bengal is hoping that the State, post Durga Puja, does not see a repeat of Kerala, where the number of COVID-19 cases shot up by over 120% after Onam celebrations.

“We are worried about the situation that would emerge after Durga Puja and Diwali. We need to prepare ourselves thoroughly in case there is a surge,” said Dr. Koushik Chaki, coordinator of the West Bengal Doctors’ Forum protocol monitoring team, which is helping the government to fight the pandemic.

Dr. Chaki emphasised that it was now entirely up to people to check the spread of the pandemic by taking precautions and avoiding crowds. “COVID-19 has been around for nearly seven months now, by now people should know the dos and don’ts. They have to be compliant and cannot drop guard even for a moment,” he said.

Durga Puja, the most-eagerly awaited festival in West Bengal that involves the participation and movement of large numbers of crowds, lasts several days and is less than a month away. While certain restrictions are in place this year — open and spacious pandals, no cultural programmes, festivities spread across more number of days — crowding will remain a matter of concern.

Streamlining of medical services

So far, close to 5,000 people have died in West Bengal due to COVID-19, and more than 3,000 cases continue to be reported every day. The government has now ordered streamlining of medical services in all districts to meet with the challenges thrown up by the rising number of cases.

“Principals of medical colleges and Chief Medical Officers or concerned districts will jointly monitor the HR placement and deployment of [doctors] at COVID-19-designated hospitals in adequate numbers. Manpower will be deployed full time under the joint signature of the principal and CMO for at least one month on rotation basis,” a government memo issued last week said.

“A Rapid Response Team will be formed, including one anaesthesiologist and one medicine specialist to treat the identified serious patients and any emergencies thereof,” it said.

“Rapid antigen testing to be arranged at SARI wards so that COVID-19 positive patients can be identified immediately and admitted to hospital without delay. Before any referral, the patient must be stabilised, so that the receiving hospital can get time for starting management,” it stated.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 1:44:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bengal-doctors-worried-about-post-puja-covid-19-situation/article32730251.ece

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