High number of oxygen beds, decentralised care helped reduce mortality
As the second wave of COVID-19 that hit the region gradually begins to subside, Kottayam appears to have set a model in pandemic prevention by providing critical care to the maximum number of patients while maintaining one of the lowest mortality rates in the State.
According to officials, the district has the highest number of oxygen beds in the COVID first-line (FLTC) and second-line treatment centres (SLTC) in the State, which has helped it to keep the mortality rate at 0.19%, second only to Idukki. Out of the total 2,421 oxygen beds in all SLTCs in the State, Kottayam accounts for 24.4% with 591 beds while it has 681 beds across the FLTCs, which is 23.64% of the total beds in all FLTCs in the State.
44,700 in govt. centres
As per estimates, 44,700 persons or 26.3% of the total COVID-19 patients in Kottayam were provided treatment through State-owned health-care mechanism. At the same time, about 1.7 lakh patients received treatment in their homes. The total number of deaths stood at 317.
Officials have attributed the lower mortality to a decentralised approach to treatment.
Apart from the two COVID-19 special hospitals in the district, opening of domiciliary care centres in all the grama panchayats, 23 FLTCs based on block panchayats and municipalities and seven SLTCs ensured sufficient care to the patients, they pointed out.
Also, the number of ICU beds and ventilators was in hospitals were raised gradually. Similarly, centralised facility for oxygen supply was ensured in most of the hospitals and SLTCs.
According to M. Anjana, District Collector, the district was now focused on equipping the district to counter a possible third wave. “Efforts are on to enhance the health infrastructure and ensure sufficient medical oxygen for the district. This includes setting up oxygen generators and concentrators in maximum number of hospitals,” said Ms. Anjana.
As part of this, steps are in place to set up oxygen plants in the two COVID hospitals and seven SLTCs using funds from various sources, including PM Care. Further, plans are also afoot to set up an oxygen generation and filling plant at Kanjirappally with help of the private sector at ₹1.14 crore, besides procuring 10 tanks of one kilolitre liquid oxygen.
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