In the last 10 days, the number of containment zones across Telangana has seen a rise by 24 per cent. As of today, at 1,392, the number has risen from 1,057 which was reported on July 27. The data on the number of containment zones in the state was released for the first time on July 28.
In the same period, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in the state has also witnessed a 24 per cent rise, taking the caseload from 57,142 to 75,257.
According to the daily medical bulleting released by the state, Telangana has conducted 5,66,984 tests to date, a break-up of which is not available.
The number of active cases has also risen from 13,753 to 21,417 (an increase of 35.8 per cent), whereas the recoveries have improved from 42, 909 to 53, 239 (an increase of 19.4 per cent) in the last 10 days. The number of people admitted to hospitals for treatment has increased from 52,74 to 6,580, a rise of nearly 20 per cent. Fatalities have increased by over 20 per cent from 480 to 601 too.
However, as COVID-related numbers are on a rise in the state, the capital city of Hyderabad has reported a declining trend in the number of zones as well as active cases. During the same period, from 92 zones across the jurisdiction under Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the number has gone down to 81. Charminar zone in Greater Hyderabad has the maximum number of containment zones, followed by Khairatabad (14), Secunderabad (12), Serilingampally (10), Kukatpally (7), and LB Nagar (6).
The number of cases reported from the Greater Hyderabad region has been hovering below 600, except for a couple of days when it dropped to 273 and 391, even as the total number of cases has constantly risen from 16,10 (on July 27) to 2,207 (on August 6). This has also been the highest single-day spike so far in the state.
“All indicators point at a spike in September”
Regarding the declining number of cases in Hyderabad, Dr. Sanjeev Singh Yadav, secretary, Indian Medical Association-Telangana, however, differ. “It certainly looks so,” he said. “But I do not think that is the case.”
According to Yadav, the reported caseload was only reflective of the number of tests being conducted. “You cannot say it (cases) has come down in Hyderabad just because the numbers have come down. I think the cases have not come down, the cases are on the rise and the government’s projection is only concerning the data that they have. Many private labs are also testing for Covid, not sure if those are taken into cognizance. All indicators point at a spike in September,” he told indianexpress.com.
On July 23, while addressing a press conference, the director of Public Health, Dr. G Srinivasa Rao, and the Director of Medical Education, Dr. K Ramesh Reddy had stated that the virus was in the community and the coming 4 to 6 weeks were crucial, especially for the districts for Telangana, with the possible emergence of seasonal diseases.
An increase in numbers of containment zones in districts other than the capital city is indicative of the rising spread of disease in rural areas. The numbers from municipalities of Gadwal, Karimnagar, Mahabubnagar, Medak, Sircilla, Moinabad, and Wanaparthy, etc, are indicative of this spread. Officials attribute the rise in cases to violations of physical distancing norms as well as failure to wear a mask and maintain one’s personal hygiene.
“It is also because people rushed to their natives fearing another lockdown. They could have been carriers and have infected many more,” Dr. Yadav said.
As of August 6, Mahabubnagar district with 240 containment zones tops the list. It is followed by Rangareddy (194), Jogulamba-Gadwal district (124), and Rajanna-Sircilla district(105). Nearly ten days ago, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Jogulamba-Gadwal, and Rajanna-Sircilla district had reported 192, 164, 46, and 52 containment zones, respectively.
From 82 containment zones, Sangareddy district has gone down to 32 containment zones as of August 6. Apart from greater Hyderabad, Wanaparthy is another district that has a lesser number of containment zones than 10 days ago.
Six districts, namely, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Medchal Malkajgiri, Siddipet, Vikarabad, and Yadadri districts continue to have no containment zones.
Among the 57 government hospitals treating Covid-19 across the state, as many as 6,204 of the total 8,446 beds were vacant on July 27. Ten days later, as of August 6, the 56 government hospitals had 5,947 of the total 8,436 beds vacant.
The official data also indicates that 55 private hospitals together had 1,465 of the total 4,497 beds vacant on July 27. As of August 6, the number of beds across 91 private hospitals stood at 6,819 and of them, 2,728 are vacant.
The department of Health has reiterated that they were well-equipped to handle a possible spike in caseload.
Of these 91 private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, barring two in Karimnagar, and 3 in Warangal Urban district, rest are all in Greater Hyderabad, and its adjoining Medchal and Rangareddy districts. Therefore, the rural population of Telangana is primarily dependent on government facilities for COVID treatment.
“It certainly looks like beds are inadequate in rural areas. But there are also many medical colleges across districts and they can share the load. With cases rising in rural areas, unwanted admissions, too, have to be avoided,” Dr. Yadav added.
“It is responsibility of everyone to take care of self”
Dr. Vijender Reddy, the president of IMA-Telangana says that the disease in itself is such that it is each person’s responsibility to take care of themself.
“What I feel is that even if you provide a good medical facility, somehow they are not convinced, and rush to Hyderabad every time. This is seen among the educated and the privileged,” said Dr. Reddy. He felt that if social influencers including the politicians start undergoing treatment in government facilities, it would instill a lot of confidence in the general public.
On August 4, 5, and 6, the state conducted 2,1118, 21,346, and 23,495 tests, respectively. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, during the cabinet meeting on August 5, has instructed officials to conduct 40,000 tests a day.
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