MYSURU: From a yet-to-be-functional hospital with no employees to days without an X-ray machine and struggling with just a handful of PPE kits, Mysuru is now emerging as a crown jewel of the state in fighting Covid-19. The district, which was in the danger of falling into an uncontrollable spiral with over 90 reported cases at one time, has now managed to contain it to just 21 active cases with zero morality, which is a rarity in the country. But it was a long struggle for frontline healthcare workers.
“The initial days were very hectic as the administration decided to turn the new district hospital into a Covid facility. We had to source even beds and cots, and the electric points too had not been installed fully,” said KR Hospital Resident Medical Officer Dr MS Rajesh Kumar, who set up the hospital from the scratch. “There were days when we had just 40 PPE kits. There was a day when the lone X-ray machine gave up but was replaced immediately,” he said. Dr HR Rajeshwari Devi, District Surgeon, who was posted to Mysuru from Mangaluru Wenlock Hospital, said they anticipated a climb in numbers because of clusters like Nanjangud and Tablighis.
“We got the hospital ready to handle the crisis, including setting up of the ICU and creating infrastructure to handle organ failure and SARI cases,” she said. But the ultimate satisfaction came when patients recovered. “We had to deal with a scientist from Jubliant Pharma Company (in Nanjangud which has been at the centre of a spurt in cases), who was positive. He was emotionally devastated as he also had SARI issues. But we managed to save him from his health and psychological condition,” she said.
Dr Madhu Kumar, a senior resident at the hospital, has been staying at the hospital for the last month. “My four-year-old daughter and my family are in Mysuru, but I am staying away from them. I have been longing to hold my child,” he said. Pushpalatha, a senior nurse, said, “It was during my posting here that we got the first patient in ICU. Since it was a new facility and we all had to work wearing PPEs, it was difficult to attend to patients. Our safety goggles fogged up and it was difficult to even attach the IV.”
Much work was also done by the surveillance team under District Surveillance Officer Dr T Shivaprasad, who was monitoring Mysuru and Nanjangud. Dr Amrutha Kumari at the testing lab, VRDL, who ramped up the capacity from 250 to over 450, Dr Chidambara, who managed containment zones, District Health Officer Dr R Venkatesh, and MMC&RI Dean Dr CP Nanjaraj all played critical roles.