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Visakhapatnam: Sharp spike in coronavirus cases worries denizens

Sanitisation drive taken up at the 86th ward in Visakhapatnam
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 Sanitisation drive taken up at the 86th ward in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

  • Total cases in Visakhapatnam district increase to 6,958
  • People found ignoring safety protocols at public places

Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam has been registering an unusual spike in Covid-19 cases in the recent past.

The beds in the government hospitals continue to fill up fast. Given the growth in expected positive cases next month, experts warn that there is a wider scope for patients not getting space even in private hospitals.

Currently, there are roughly 25 hospitals with close to 7,000-bed capacity, including government and stand-by private hospitals identified by the district administration, for Covid-19 patients in Visakhapatnam.

As many as 1,000 doctors and 200 nursing staff are attending to the coronavirus patients in government hospitals. In private hospitals, more than 350 doctors and 200 nursing staff are available at the moment.

There is a gap between the number of patients getting admitted to the hospitals and the staff treating them. With a view to bridge this gap, the State government has issued notification to recruit the staff in government Covid hospitals. Meanwhile, District Collector V Vinay Chand directed the health authorities to arrange a greater number of beds in institutional quarantine centres and Covid hospitals. As a part of the measures to control the spread of the infection, he laid emphasis on government and private hospitals to come forward to offer services. In this regard, he instructed District Covid-19 Special Officer for P V Sudhakar to take up efforts to mobilise more specialists and ensure adequate medicines for the patients as there is no dearth of funds to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

While district administration is pulling out all stops to strengthen the public health system, not many consider following safety protocols a serious measure to contain the spread of the infection.

On Sundays, fish markets and meat shops are abuzz with activity as people throng the marketplaces, paying no heed to social distancing norms. When it comes to liquor outlets, a steady rush is being witnessed all days of the week.

This apart, in shopping centres, supermarkets and grocery stores, social distancing is hardly practised, a primary preventive measure to tackle coronavirus.

With fear gripping a large section of people as there is an alarming rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, merchants and traders opted for self-imposed restrictions. Traders in Narsipatnam, Chodavaram, Araku Valley and Poorna Market, among other areas, declared to impose lockdown voluntarily and decided to keep the shops open for a few hours.

Taking the spike in corona cases into consideration, political leaders have included sanitisation measures as a part of their service activities. From spraying disinfectants in containment zones to building confidence among the general public and creating awareness on safety protocols to guard against the dreaded infection, they are taking up a slew of programmes. In 86th ward, YSRCP leader Dhama Subba Rao took up the spraying of sodium hypochlorite solution in containment zones.

Similarly, BJP leaders also carried out multiple sanitisation drives at Ukkunagaram.

As on Saturday, Visakhapatnam district registered 895 fresh infections, taking the tally to 6,958. The death toll increased to 66 with three deaths being recorded in the last 24 hours.

Given the rise in positive cases as well as active clusters, medical experts warn that a situation which is similar to a complete lockdown may arise in future and the district would be the worst affected by Covid-19 if people fail to practice safety protocols.

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