May 9, 2021 4:38:50 am
As the Covid-19 surge continues relentlessly, the daily struggle for many is for hospital ICU beds, oxygen cylinders, life-saving medicines and a ray of hope. May has been the cruelest month, with Chandigarh reporting a high of 890 cases on May 3 and May 7, the highest since the pandemic began.
In fact, last week, according to a New York Times analysis of data on reported cases by states and Union Territories in India, as per most cases per 1,00,000 residents in the last seven days, Chandigarh was among the top ten in the country, with 4,041 cases per 1,00,000, a daily average of more than 774 cases. On April 30, the test positivity ratio of the UT was 10.4 and on May 8, it rose to 11.3. The active ratio on April 30 was 16.2 and on Saturday it was 17.6. The city has seen a steady rise in the number of deaths, with 489 deaths on May 1, and the number increasing to 549 to May 7.
With PGI constantly running to full capacity, with no ICU beds vacant for the last few days, the constant surge has made the Institute add beds daily, increasing its oxygen supplies and even start work on setting up an oxygen plant. Yet, there is always a waiting list of both Covid and emergency patients.
“A sense of fearlessness has aggravated the situation, as we see more admissions of people below 45 years. Their oxygen saturation dips faster, below 95, there is lung involvement and they need oxygen support. A larger population, with all age groups is involved in this wave. We are on the edge, everything is full, and we still haven’t reached our peak. When, is a question I cannot answer. I can only say break the chain of transmission by wearing masks and getting vaccinated,” said prof Jagat Ram, director PGI.
Not following COVID appropriate protocols, letting our guard down and carelessness have been the major contributors to this second surge, agreed Dr Jayashree, Chairperson, APC COVID Committee, PGI.
Prof G D Puri, Dean and Head, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, who has spear-headed the Covid-19 initiative in PGI said we refused to process scientific facts, and didn’t learn from what we were witnessing around the world. “We should have known that this would happen to us, as warned by the medical fraternity and prepared for it, and now we must consider everybody a carrier of infection and take precautions,” said Prof Puri.
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