Hyderabad: The Telangana government on 3 April announced a slew of measures to tackle the second wave of COVID-19 in the state. The state health department is on full alert to prevent transmission of the virus.
On Saturday, health minister Eatala Rajendra, after a high-level meeting with health officials, announced that a new mobile application has been developed to improve 'trace-test'. He also said that quarantine centres have been reopened. Here are the steps being taken by the state health department to curb the rise of COVID-19 cases.
New app to trace contacts
The department of medical health has developed a new app to trace the contacts of COVID19 patients. The app is designed to send instant SMS to the contacts of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus and urge them to undergo a test.
COVID-19 treatment in all hospitals
The decision was made to convert all hospitals that had earlier provided COVID-19 treatment into full-fledged COVID-19 hospitals. The decision was taken to set up corona wards in hospitals in 33 district centers and provide treatment. The minister had directed that doctors, nurses, sanitary staff, patient care workers, medicines, and oxygen be made available 24 hours.
"The pandemic has provided many experiences this year. Initially, the patient was afraid to approach the hospitals. But now doctors and staff are going to the patients wearing only a mask. The fear has gone," said the minister.
Installation of liquid oxygen tanks in 22 hospitals
The minister said that oxygen, which plays a major role in COVID-19 treatment, has been provided in all hospitals. Liquid oxygen tanks have been set up in 22 hospitals. The minister clarified that patients on ventilator will not have any problems due to lack of oxygen. Oxygen cylinders were made available in primary health centers, too.
Establishment of isolation centers
The minister said it had been decided to set up isolation centers in all district centers as before. He said arrangements have been made for those who have tested positive and do not have the opportunity to stay at home to be kept in isolation centers. Doctors and medical staff are available 24 hours at the respective centers to monitor the patients. Meals and fresh water will be provided to them, the minister said.
It was also decided to convert Nature Cure Hospital, Ayurveda Hospital, Nizamia TB Hospital, Fever Hospital, and Chest Hospital in Hyderabad into full-fledged COVID-19 treatment and quarantine centers. The minister directed the authorities to prepare these hospitals in another week.
Fully-functional call center
The call center in SR Nagar will be fully operational to give advice and suggestions to those who are in home isolation and to monitor their health conditions. Medical kits will be provided for those under home isolation and they will be given medical advice through the telephone.
Warning to private hospitals
"Doctors are seen as gods. Our experience tells us that corona treatment costs very less," the minister said while urging private hospitals not to cash in on patient' fears in such situations. He asked them to provide medical treatment as per the rates fixed by the government.
Review by Chief Minister from time to time
CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao is reviewing the cases from time to time and giving appropriate advice and suggestions. The medical health department, panchayati raj department, municipal department, and the police are coordinating. Orders were issued from the Chief Secretary to the lower level employee to stay vigilant.
Release of three GOs
The government has so far issued three orders to curb the spread of COVID-19. GO 67 directed schools and hostels to close while GO 68 made wearing masks compulsory. The state issued GO 69 to curb celebrations during festivals. The health minister asked everyone to follow the government orders.
108 special vehicles for COVID-19 patients
The minister also allocated special 108 vehicles to carry COVID-19 patients. In the GHMC area, around 32,108 vehicles have been specially allotted for COVID-19 patients. The minister said all arrangements have been made to take them to nearby hospitals if they call 108.
The minister also said drugs and equipment are fully available.
Meanwhile, Telangana reported 1,321 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the overall tally to 3,12,140 in the state. The last time the state reported more than 1,300 cases was on 7 November 2020 when it saw 1,440 cases.
The state reported five new deaths on 3 April taking the total death toll to 1,717. The fatality rate in the state is 0.55 per cent which is less than the national average of 1.3 per cent.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area on Saturday reported 320 new cases. The neighbouring Rangareddy district reported 121 while Medchal Malkajgiri reported 144 and Sangareddy 24 new cases.