Surplus oxygen is no consolation for Kerala

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 27, 2021

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan   -  THE HHINDU

255 per cent rise in active Covid-19 cases in two weeks

There is no respite in transmission of the Covid-19 in Kerala with the State recording a 255 per cent rise in the number of active cases in the last two weeks, reaching a new daily high at 32,819 when 1.41 lakh samples were tested on Tuesday. The test positivity rate logged in at 23.24 per cent during the 24 hours.

Buffer stocks of oxygen

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told newspersons here that despite being oxygen-surplus, the State is not in a position to take it easy in light of the phenomenal increase in the spread of the disease. A meeting of high-level officials convened by him had reviewed the situation that did not offer much comfort. At the meeting it was decided to ensure that adequate number of oxygen beds are available at all major hospitals and Covid Frontline Treatment Centres.

Since tests have established the entrenched presence of the mutant variants of the virus in almost all districts, observations and tests will be further enhanced at railway stations and airports. The government is increasingly worried about manpower resources available to deal with the ever-increasing case load, requiring more volunteers to pitch in.

Prohibitory orders declared

New infections are being reported among the migrant workers in Pathanamthitta district where enhanced diagnostic tests are being conducted. In Kottayam where a mutant virus is creating havoc, prohibitory orders/Section 144 has been declared in four panchayats and 59 wards of the local bodies.

Scheduling of vaccinations has gone haywire due to the shortage of vaccines. The Chief Minister said that demand for 50 lakh doses is pending with the Centre for action. The CoWin platform for registrations cannot come back live unless this is delivered in phases.

‘Shortages likely’

Rajalakshmi A, consultant at the KIMSHEALTH, a large private multi-specialty hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, said “Going forward, we anticipate shortage of beds, manpower, oxygen, and drugs. Currently though, we’re fine with beds, especially oxygen beds, and oxygen supply.”

But the human resources are stretched. “We’re pulling in doctors from other departments for Covid duty. We’ve expanded our resources in this manner and expect we may have no other go for at least a month. As for drugs, there’s a countrywide shortage in antivirals which is reflected here as well.”

Published on April 27, 2021

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