‘People should be alerted on new virus variants and their impact’
Praja Arogya Vedika (PAV) has appealed to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to take advantage of the present decline in COVID-19 cases to initiate measures to ramp up facilities at the COVID hospitals in view of the third wave surge expected to begin in the second half of August.
In a letter to the Chief Minister on Friday, PAV general secretary T. Kameswara Rao and its president M.V. Ramanaiah said that the second wave had created terror among the people with the death of a large number of patients. The new variants of coronavirus are likely to have a serious impact on public health, especially on children.
They said that adequate precautions and preventive measures in advance will go a long way in containing the spread of the virus. Strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols like wearing masks, observing physical distance and frequent hand sanitisation will go a long way in controlling the third wave surge. A wide publicity campaign should be organised once again to sensitise the citizens, they said.
Testing should be increased further and regular monitoring and treatment should be made available. Adequate number of isolation centres should be made available. Isolation centres should be set up at the mandal level. It is advisable to set up at the panchayat level, if possible.
Genome research should be conducted on at least 5% of blood test samples to quickly identify new variants that are rapidly forming. People should be alerted from time to time on new virus variants and their impact. The vaccination programme should be expanded and further accelerated by increasing the number of vaccination centres. Doctors, paramedical staff and ASHA workers should be appointed on a permanent basis, without any delay.
The PAV leaders also sought that medical students should also be given appropriate training and utilised in COVID services. Beds and wards with all facilities related to COVID care should be set up in the district hospitals, Area Hospitals, Community Hospitals and Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
At least 30 % of all beds in community and area hospitals should be made available for the treatment of children. Oxygen concentrators must be installed in all the PHCs and steps should be taken to ensure that there is no shortage of PPE kits, masks and sanitisers in all hospitals. The other suggestions include continuation of door-to-door survey programme, setting up of a committee of medical experts to formulate and implement the ‘COVID control and containment’ plan and regulating the cost of treatment to prevent exploitation of patients by corporate hospitals.
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