From Our Bureau

8TH JUNE 2020

There was a spurt in COVID-19 cases for the 31st consecutive day with 92 fresh cases reported in Telangana on Monday, taking the State’s total to 3,742 confirmed cases. The death toll rose to 142, with five fresh fatalities reported in the last 24 hours. In all, 1,742 patients were discharged after recovery so far and 1,858 active confirmed cases are in the hospitals now, as per latest official status update. 

According to the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, as many as 92 fresh cases were reported among locals, taking the sub-total of this group to 3,294.  No fresh cases were reported among the migrants, deportees and foreign evacuees and their sub-total remained at 448. Thus, the total confirmed cases tally included 3,294 locals, 206 migrants from other States, 212 deportees from other countries and 30 foreign evacuees.   

The Director PH& FW said that in view of Covid-19 global pandemic, the State of Telangana has strengthened surveillance, contact tracing and containment measures against the possible spread of disease.

Meanwhile, the State Medical and Health officials and experts have made it clear that the government hospitals in the State have the capacity, facilities and equipment to treat Corona virus patients, whatever their number may be. They expressed anguish that on this matter, some media organisations and persons were spreading false information and creating panic and confusion among the people. They have also expressed a doubt that there may be some conspiracy behind this malicious propaganda.

They clarified that in Gandhi Hospital, where there is a capacity to treat more than 2,000 patients, only 247 Covid patients are there. When the facts are like this, some vested interests are spreading rumours that the Gandhi Hospital is overflowing with the Covid patients, they pointed out.

They said since some people have filed the PILs in the court, they were made to make rounds around the court and it was creating problems for them to offer medical services to the needy. They said it was not possible to conduct Covid tests on all those who died and the High Court’s direction in this regard cannot be implemented. They urged the State government to appeal in the Supreme Court. 

Chief Minister Sri K Chandrashekhar Rao held a high-level review meeting on the spread of Corona Virus, measures taken to contain it and other related issues at Pragathi Bhavan here on Monday. Medical and Health Minister Etela Rajender, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Special Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Ms Shanti Kumari, Commissioner Ms Yogita Rana, DME Ramesh Reddy, DMH Srinivas, Covid Experts Committee member  Gangadhar, Health University Vice Chancellor Karunakar Reddy and others participated.

The Medical and Health officials and experts brought to the notice of the CM that there is no match between the actual situation and those reports appearing in the media about the spread of Corona Virus. They were upset that some vested interests were spreading false reports on the situation. They said this was leading to people getting scared and anxious.

Some people are spreading lies that the Gandhi Hospital is overflowing with the Corona Virus patients. Some Newspapers and TV Channels are reporting this fake news. But this is a blatant lie. In Gandhi Hospital, facilities are available to treat 2,150 patients. It has 1,000 beds with Oxygen supply facility. As on date, there are only 247 Corona patients in Gandhi Hospital. So far there was never an opportunity to utilise the facilities at the Gandhi Hospital to the optimal level. Several of the patients who got the virus have received treatment and discharged from the hospital. Asymptomatic patients are treated at home.

There was also false campaign launched that if the patients’ number is more there are no facilities to treat them. In fact, in the entire country, the state government’s medical and health department is better equipped to face any situation. 9.61 lakh PPE Kits are ready. There are 14 Lakh N95 Masks. In the government hospitals 3,600 beds are ready with the oxygen facility. Ventilators, Test Kits, Tablets and other equipment are there as stand by. There is no scarcity. The Medical and Health department is ready to give treatment to any number of patients.

All those who received treatment, discharged and went home are happy. They are publicly declaring that they received the best treatment with all the facilities. It is strange that while the patients who got virus and were treated are happy, others are levelling false charges. They are spreading lies and false reports that doctors and other medical staff transmitted the virus and thereby adversely impact the confidence of the medical staff.

In fact, the Corona virus spreads to those offering the treatment worldwide. This is but natural. This is not happening in Telangana State alone. 480 got the virus in Delhi’s AIIMS. According to the ICMR estimates, 10,000 medical staff got the virus in the country. In the US 68,000 Medical staff got the virus. In UK, 15 per cent of those transmitted virus are medical staff.  Similarly, in Telangana State, so far 153 medical staff got the virus. But none of them were in serious condition. “They are our fellow staff and we are on alert about them. It is painful that some reports are spreading that only in Telangana State medical staff have got the virus,” they said.

All those deaths accounted for as Corona deaths were not connected to the Corona virus. About 95 per cent of the dead succumbed due to other reasons. Patients with kidney, liver, heart and respiratory diseases, cancer patients, patients with high blood pressure, diabetics and other diseases died. Those who died due to other diseases but tested positive for Corona were accounted for as deaths due to Corona. Due to false propaganda, there is fear among the people.

On the subject of Corona, regularly some people are filing the Public Interest Litigations (PILs) in the Court. Due to this, senior officials are going to Courts every day. They are occupied with the Court work the whole day. This is leading to senior officials not been able to monitor Corona related cases and other cases. All these PILs are filed with vested interests. This is leading to senior medical officers wasting their valuable time.

It is difficult to implement the High Court Order that Corona tests should be conducted on the dead for whatever reasons they have died. In the State, every day 900 to 1,000 people die due to various reasons. Every day someone will die in some remote part of the State. It is not possible to conduct tests on them. If the medical staff in the hospitals is deputed for this duty, they will not get any time to treat the patients. There will be patients who come to the hospitals for other diseases and some for deliveries. There are now some who come for the treatment of Corona.

It is not possible to conduct tests on the dead for Corona, leaving these patients. WHO, ICMR or the Central government never asked for the tests on the dead. The High Court directions in this regard are impossible to implement. The State government would consider going in for an appeal in the Supreme Court in this regard. 

Everything is ready, no need to panic: CM KCR

The CM clarified that every individual should be cautious and need not worry unnecessarily about Corona. He said there are no symptoms to many people who have the Corona, but a small number of those who are having other diseases are falling seriously sick. The Government is taking all measures to contain the virus. Yet, at the same time, people should follow personal hygiene and take the necessary precautions.

The CM declared that even if the Corona virus cases are large in number, the Government is ready to offer the treatment. He said according to ICMR guidelines, those patients who are in serious condition are treated in the hospitals and those asymptomatic patients are treated at home. (eom)

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