Hyderabad: The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic curve could flatten out and end in Hyderabad by the last week of August and in Telangana by the end of September, health authorities said on Saturday.
Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao at a media interaction on Saturday said: “There are encouraging signs, as Covid-19 positive cases are on the decline in areas under GHMC. Our estimates suggest that by the end of August, the outbreak could weaken in Hyderabad. At the moment, cases are rising in districts such as Rangareddy, Medchal and Warangal. Based on our estimates, we are hoping that by the end of September, the Covid-19 pandemic would have run its course in the State.”
Senior health officials said that all efforts were being made to control the fatality rate due to Covid-19 and expensive drugs such as Remdesivir have been stocked in all the district hospitals in the State.
However, Dr. Srinivasa Rao along with Director of Medical Education (DME), Dr. K Ramesh Reddy, also had a word of caution for the general public, as these drugs are still classified as ‘investigational therapies’ by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and there were still question marks over their benefits for Covid-19 patients.
“We have established clear-cut treatment protocols and guidelines on treating Covid-19 positive patients at all levels of government hospitals, right from primary health centres to tertiary hospitals in the State. We expect private hospitals in Telangana also to follow the same protocols and guidelines for standardisation of treatment,” Dr.Rao said.
Remdesivir made available
To build the confidence of general public, the State has stocked close to 25,000 Remdesivir injections in all districts. “These drugs are not meant for all and yet, we have acquired 25,000 Remdesivir injections. There are 12,000 injections stocked in Hyderabad, while in Adilabad, there are 750 injections and another 250 injections in Bhadradri. Similarly, Favipiravir anti-viral drug is also available at all PHCs,” he said.
Officials pointed out that expensive therapies including Remdesivir, Tocilizumab and even plasma therapy were not meant for all Covid-19 patients.
“A lot of people are taking advantage of the huge demand for plasma therapy for Covid-19. What people don’t realise is that plasma therapy, which was taken up on an experimental basis at Gandhi Hospital, is not meant for all patients. It is not useful for severe Covid cases and those on ventilators,” Dr. Reddy said.
Recently, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, too had expressed reservations over the efficacy of plasma therapy. “There is a lot of exploitation of vulnerable people in the name of plasma therapy. People with mild symptoms and asymptomatic persons are not eligible to donate. Only those who had severe symptoms should donate. Moreover, there is lack of evidence over the efficacy of plasma therapy,” Dr. Reddy said.
86,000 home isolation kits
The Health Department has established a system where persons with suspected symptoms, if they test positive, will be able to meet a doctor at the Urban Primary Health Centres (UPHC) or Primary Health Centre (PHC) and immediately get advice.
“On the spot, persons who have tested positive will receive isolation kits and will be sent home for isolation. We have already stocked 86,000 home isolation kits with 14 different items in each kit in all PHCs and UPHCs in the State,” Dr. Rao said, adding that the government had already released Rs.100 crore for the fight against the pandemic. The officials also called upon the public to make use of government facilities instead of spending money in private hospitals.
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