Covid Cases in Kerala in critical condition, experts suggest for full lockdown.
Healthcare experts in Kerala are calling on the state government to shut down the state immediately and focus on improving medical oxygen supply capabilities, ICU beds, and ventilators to prevent healthcare infrastructure from being overwhelmed by the rapid rise of Covid-19 infections.
The situation in the state is quite critical with the number of active cases that have touched three lakhs and a test positivity rate hovering above 25%. New daily infections have crossed 35,000 and six of the 14 districts have more than 20,000 people currently in treatment. Two districts, in particular, Ernakulam and Kozhikode, have more than 40,000 patients in home isolation or in hospitals and first-line treatment centers (FLTC).
As the number of people seeking critical care has galloped in recent weeks, private hospitals, particularly in cities like Kochi and Kozhikode, are running out of oxygen beds, forcing families to run from column to post. seeking treatment.
While the state government, in recent days, has tightened the screws on the movement of people, especially at night and on weekends, in the form of curfews, it has failed to impose a statewide blockade, perhaps taking socio-economic concerns into account. CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that people should enter a “self-interlocking” and avoid leaving, except for emergency reasons.
Number of Covid cases in Kerala today
37,199 new cases, 49 deaths reported in Kerala today. 17,500 people recovered from the disease today, taking the total number of recoveries to 12,61,801: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on COVID19 situation
(file pic) pic.twitter.com/eIPkJfjUoa
— ANI (@ANI) April 30, 2021
“The situation will spiral out of control if we do not enter into a lockdown at this time because it is a fierce spread. One person is transmitting the virus to multiple people at a very fast rate. On May 2, Assembly election votes will be counted and there are likely to be crowds one way or another. At weddings taking place these days, we are hearing reports that 50 percent of attendees are infected. So if we break person-to-person contact for more than 10 days, we can slow down the transmission speed. It is based on a scientific principle that we have recommended a two-week shutdown, ”said Dr. P Gopikumar, Secretary of State for the Indian Medical Association.
On Friday, the government seemed warmer about declaring a lockdown, at least in districts where the test positivity rate is higher than usual along with an alarming number of cases. A decision in that regard is expected soon if it occurs.
“The government rightly has to consider many factors before imposing a blockade, such as socio-economic concerns. But as a scientific body, we recommend a lockdown because that is what is needed right now. Only if there is human life can there be an economy, ”said Dr. TN Suresh, ENT consultant and secretary-general of the Kerala Government Medical Officials Association (KGMOA).
Dr. Padmanabha Shenoy, a well-known rheumatologist, and public health expert said that the current restrictions imposed by the government have had no visible effect on the infection curve.
“It has been 10 days since the restrictions were introduced and it is clear that they have not been effective. At least the infection curve should have stabilized. But the curve is only going up and we are setting new records every day. If the current situation continues, it will lead to an explosion of cases and the collapse of the system, ”he said.
“(Imposing a lockdown) is also about whether we are going to have enough beds for the patients we are diagnosing now. That is the main question. If 80% of the beds are already used, in the next 4-5 days, all of our existing beds will be occupied. Already in cities like Kochi, ICU beds in private hospitals are hard to find, ”he added.
Covid-19 state nodal officer Dr. Amar Fettle said war footing efforts are underway to increase the capacity of oxygen-supported beds with the help of private healthcare chains.
“We are trying to create a reserve of beds like during the first wave of last year. We are occupying unoccupied spaces in private hospitals and medical schools. They have already allocated 25% of the beds, which may need to be increased. Unless things get out of hand, there will be beds. It depends on the volume of people who do not take care of themselves at all (in the following protocols). Second, even if you start caring, there will be a delay period of two to three weeks for the impact to come, ”he said.
“During the first wave, we had done preparatory work for the first time like identifying places (to set up hospitals or treatment centers), checking their suitability, looking for bed providers, all of this was being done for the first time in history. . But this time, each DMO or DPM has manufacturer contacts (for supplies). So the response time is much shorter this time, ”he added.
To cope with the growing number of people requiring hospitalization and prevent deaths from lack of treatment, the government has also opened centralized war rooms at the district level where teams of personnel will guide patients and their families to hospitals, home care centers. and first-line treatment centers. . Dedicated war rooms for the supply of medical oxygen are also opening.