‘Infection spread can be controlled by adhering to norms’
Those testing positive for COVID-19 should not panic as the State has created a seamless system to manage patients, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan has said.
Following a meeting with doctors of the Government Medical College Hospital, Omandurar Estate, on Saturday, he said health officials were holding meetings regularly to assess the situation. Once samples were lifted and processed, results were provided to the patients, the Corporation and the Health Department, he said.
The Corporation has 96 vehicles to pick up patients and bring them to the 12 designated fever surveillance clinics for further tests, such as X-ray and blood profiling.
Based on the results, doctors decide on hospitalisation, home isolation or treatment at COVID-19 Care Centres, he said. Decisions are made as per the guidelines provided by doctors at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, he said.
“We therefore request people to go to fever surveillance camps in the beginning. If patients feel that they have symptoms and require treatment, they may call the Corporation’s control room helpline numbers — 044-4612 2300 or 044-2538 4520 or 104. The medical team will assess the situation and help them accordingly. Residents can also call the above numbers if the Corporation staff do not reach out to them within 24 hours of receiving the test results,” he said.
He assured the people that the State had adequate medical facilities. “We have a system in place to avoid crowding at hospitals,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said, adding that the State had a sufficient stock of medicines. “People are sent to these centres as they cannot be placed along with those with severe symptoms and who require hospitalisation. People who have recovered and can go for yoga or to the library should opt to give up hospital beds so that the really sick can benefit,” he said.
For the next 10 days, medical college hospitals and specialist outpatient clinics at primary health centres had been instructed to put elective surgeries in abeyance.
“These account for around 5,000 persons. This will reduce crowding at hospitals,” he said.
The State has augmented its oxygen storage capacity, and has also increased its oxygen tank capacity at hospitals, he said.
“In the past several days, we have been coming across people taking medicines such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab. They should be administered only under the supervision of doctors,” he said. Most people will recover with just zinc tablets and azithromycin, he said.
The State had “a good chance of controlling the spread”, he said.
Of the 1.20 lakh residential streets, in as many as 4,256 places the Health Department has recorded over three cases each. These include 3,570 streets and 686 residences. In 17,157 village streets and 23,068 urban streets, fewer than three cases have been identified. “If we have total control in these areas, we can reduce the transmission,” he said.
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