INTERVIEW | Bihar is effectively, elaborately battling against COVID-19: Health secretary Sanjay Kumar
PATNA: 1990-batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre Sanjay Kumar, working as principal secretary of health, is now one of those officials, who are leaving no stone unturned to wipe off the COVID-19 pandemic in every possible way.
In between official hectic schedules, he finds out time to research out the ways to tame the outbreak and share the every minute development taking place across the globe through his official Twitter handle, which has become the most-seen handle at least in Bihar.
How we are battling against the pandemic of COVID-19 in Bihar?
Broadly speaking, Bihar is battling effectively in all ways with all might and main to tame down the pandemic and results are not discouraging as such
The total count of COVID-19 infected patients till now (Friday morning) is 556 with six new persons tested positive. They have a travel history from Kolkata and were all initially asymptomatic. In Bihar, testing facility has been enhanced to a great extent with all other medical facilities being added almost every day.
So, simply put, Bihar is battling effectively and elaborately with successful handling of door to door screening drive in which more than 10.11 crores till Thursday were screened. The testing facility has now been stated at seven places including SKMCH in Muzaffarpur and JLNMCH in Bhagalpur besides Patna-based medical institutions.
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Apart from institutional efforts, how far people's awareness increased against the pandemic?
To a great extent.The level of preventive awareness as well as social responsibility among the people has increased to a great extent. It has come as a major support to the our all-out efforts being taken against the pandemic.
Now, the people are reporting about the cases and movement of new comers in the society as their social responsibility and collective sense of maintaining physical distancing while living or being at a common place for an unavoidable reasons is getting noticed superb.
Since the use of masks has been made compulsory in the state, people have adopted this practice on larger scales. The habit of hand washing,too,has got well placed in the practices of people during this Corona crisis,which will, obviously,have a far fetching positive impact on sanitation sensation of people ahead. So,ahead lies also a brighter days overcoming the pangs of pandemic!
What's percentage of gender-wise infection rate in the state?
Numerically speaking, state has reported 36% women of all age group infected out of total cases of reported COVID 19 positive leaving 64% males being infected. 5 deaths have so far being reported in which many of them died due to cancer and cardiac arrest after being tested positive through contact form of infection.
Yes,one thing has been noticed here that the number of asymptomatic cases, tested positive, has now gone up to 501 with the addition of six new from Samastipur reported on Friday morning. The total number of symptomatic Covid 19 positive cases stands around 59 while rest others are being determined.
So far, 246 positive patients have been cured, which is an encouraging outcome to us.
What's the ratio of age wise infection among the people here till date?
This time,it has been seen that vulnerability of infection remained around the people of younger ages instead of being around the people of old-age as was assumed by the medical fraternity in common speaking about the infection trails of COVID-19.
As per ours official findings, till May 7,163 persons belonging to 0 to 20 years of age group have been tested positive followed by more than 129 persons of between 21 -30 years of age,117 of 31-40 years of age,62 of 41-50,52 of 51-60 and 26 people of above 60 years of their ages. No doubt, among the people of younger age group, tested positive , number of minors and females was also noticeable.
Have the migrant workers, who returned to Bihar, tested positive?
Yes, many of them have been tested positive including six from Samastipur,who have returned from Kolkata and others apart.
The medical screening and testing of migrants are being intensively carried out across the state and officials are ascertaining details on the travel history as well as infection trails to eliminate the entire infection spread wasy scientifically.
A sea of health workers are fighting against the pandemic and they are getting encouraging results and responses. Thankful to say, all other official wings of stats government are together fighting against the outbreak of Covid-19 on war footing levels under the constant monitoring of CM Nitish Kumar and seniors.
What about the looming threat of yet another outbreak of AES in many districts?
Preparations to tackle this are afoot at many levels in 12 districts including Muzaffarpur and others wherein the cases of AES have been reported earlier.
I have gone to SKMCH in Muzaffarpur on Thursday and inspected the preparations including the works done to start PICU and other infrastructure to tame the outbreak of viral fever in which children arr affected with symptoms akin to AES.
At SKMCH,100 bed PICU hospital is being constructed in addition to a 60-bed Acute Encephalitis ward.Side by side,all required infrastructure at SKMCH are being developed.The SKMCH is also set to be developed a hospital of having 2500 bed capacity also under which 1500 beds would be created here in the first phase and rest in another phase.
It has been also found that children fall prey to the viral fever which is colloquially called chamki-bukhar, between 4 to 5 am in morning. Officials of Muzaffarpur have also adopted 356 panchayats of Muzaffarpur to create awareness on the prevention of AES in rural areas.
So, by all way we are ready to fight it.