Focus shifts to west as Coimbarore clocks 5x jump in active Covid cases

Move aimed at treating patients before infection affects their lungs

Published: 26th May 2021 04:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2021 04:56 AM   |  A+A-

A patient being taken for tests at KMC in Chennai on Tuesday | P jawahar

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: With Covid cases in the northern districts including Chennai showing a downward spiral, health authorities are shifting focus to the Western region. “The prime focus now is on Coimbatore, Tiruppur, and Erode districts,” Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan told Express.

“The decline in the northern region is preliminary, and we cannot take it as a sure sign. Still, the focus has shifted to the West. We have advised the Coimbatore district administration of unified control measures, such as the ones we implemented in Chennai to arrest the spread.”

The district has been recording a steep increase in the daily count with cases going up from 1,257 on May 1 to 3,632 on May 25. In the same period, the active case count has also witnessed a surge from 7,288 on May 1 to a whopping 34,253 on May 25.

Measures include creating more Covid care centres with oxygen concentrators and establishing zero-delay wards among others. “At the zero-delay place, patients would be re-triaged after the examination. We have also suggested some action plans to Collector S Nagarajan,” the secretary added. Talking about Coimbatore, Radhakrishnan said the district has managed the oxygen crisis well. 

TN to study ‘Kerala model’ to control Covid contagion

The secretary opined that the solution to shortage of beds with oxygen supplements is to establish Covid Care Centres with oxygen concentrators. He added, "Not everybody needs to be treated in an ICU or be accommodated in oxygen beds. Most people come because of anxiety. Therefore, triaging will help them get better."

Radhakrishnan added that they were planning to study the 'Kerala model' to manage and control Covid spread in the State. "The neighbouring State has a record of very high number of home-quarantined patients. By adopting their model, we can treat patients before they get lung infection," he said, adding that the Coimbatore district-level war room will soon follow success stories of Chennai.

According to sources, the district has around 13,000 beds in government and private facilities, and Covid Care Centres. As many as 675 of the total 908 beds in government facilities were occupied, while 192 of the 1,896 beds in private institutions remained vacant as on Monday night. About 21,000 asymptomatic patients were also placed under home quarantine in Coimbatore district alone.

Meanwhile, sources said that a Covid Care Centre is coming up at Government Arts College. It is said that the facility with 200 oxygen-supported beds would be used as a step-down centre to treat patients whose oxygen saturation has improved after being treated at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. The district is also planning to increase the bed capacity by dedicating some of the government hospitals soon.


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