ALARMING RISE IN COVID CASES: IS STATE PREPARED ENOUGH?
M’laya not in a position to handle 100 critical COVID-19 cases at the same time: DHS (MI) Dr Aman War
SHILLONG, April 20: The second wave of COVID-19 in Meghalaya, which is officially described as alarming, is likely to hit its peak possibly by the end of this month.
DHS (MI), Dr. Aman War while speaking to reporters on the sideline of a press conference on Tuesday informed that the number of COVID-19 cases in the state is likely to cross thousand within this month.
According to him, the spike in the COVID-19 cases at present is very alarming as compared to the same period last year.
Within a span of 25 days between March 23 and April 17, the state has already logged 680 cases. Last year, the state had one case on April 13 and by August 5 last year the number rose to 665.
“The number of cases now is equivalent to the number of cases which took 115 days last year,” the DHS stated.
When asked on the preparedness of the state, Dr War admitted that the state will not be in a position to handle 100 critical COVID-19 cases at the same time.
He informed that the number of ventilators in the government health institutions is 32, adding that they had received another 54 ventilators with the support of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
According to him, they have another 75 non-evasive ventilators with Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP).
“We have got 609 oxygen supported beds and 65 ICU beds,” Dr War informed.
Besides limitations of equipment, the other worry is the human resources. The DHS underlined that there is a need to ensure that the health workers do not feel exhausted.
“If any of the health workers are exhausted then it does not matter how prepared we are in terms of infrastructure and equipment. We do not want to face the same crisis like in other parts of the country where most of the health workers are exhausted,” Dr War said.
He observed that many of the states are crying for doctors, nurses and health workers to help in combating the COVID-19 situation.
“It is the duty of each and every citizen to act responsibly to ensure that the COVID-19 situation in the state does not deteriorate,” the DHS added.
On the reasons for the spike in cases, Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) Epidemiologist, Dr Rajeev Sarkar said that the number of cases were less last year since there was very little movement of people in view of the lockdown.
“The virus spreads from person to person in close proximity. In the last few months, we have seen that people in the market places are not following social distancing to the extent which needs to be followed. The results are before us,” Dr Sarkar said.
According to him, even the vaccine has brought complacency among the people.
Asserting that penalising the people for violating the COVID-19 SOPs was not the solution, Dr Meban Kharkongor, Medical Specialist, Dr. H. Gordon Robert Hospital, observed that public as a whole should understand that by not wearing a mask they are actually risking their life as well as those of their family members.
“It is important that people take the responsibility on their own rather than the law enforcing agency penalising the violators for violating the SOPs,” he said.