Overcrowded hospitals, long lines in front of laboratories and diagnostic centers, and a sense of panic were written on the faces of anxious family members. The nights are full of uncertainty and the eerie silence is often broken by the piercing sound of an ambulance siren.
These are the sights in Guntur battling a vicious second wave of COVID-19 that has caused a sudden spike in some cases over the weekend.
The lack of oxygen in many hospitals contributes to patient suffering. The apparent lack of remdesivir – touted by many as a miracle drug – also increases their anxiety.
For a city that carried the brunt of the pandemic during the first wave, it’s surprising to see it’s struggling to fight the second wave, which hit the country from April 1, experts say.
“We have beds available, but there is no guarantee of oxygen supply. We ask patients to have antiviral drugs. We are helpless and unable to cope with the surge in patients, ”said a hospital administrator.
With the worsening situation, some patients have moved to neighboring districts.
“The situation in our hospitals is deteriorating. The shortage of oxygen has made the situation worrying. We had to run helter-skelter for a bed for a 70 year old man. We managed to find one in a hospital and then get an oxygen bottle as well. However, there was no flow meter to use and it did. We finally got it set up by midnight and we hope he recovers, ”said one doctor.
The district’s health infrastructure is bursting at the seams as the explosion in COVID-19 cases continues.
The district recorded 1,576 cases on Sunday, of which the city of Guntur alone recorded 445 cases, the highest number in recent times.
The district administration, which successfully managed to overcome the first wave, has taken action and allocated 6,000 beds in 54 state and private hospitals to treat those affected by the virus. The collector Vivek Yadav was made up of knot officers to oversee each hospital. A daily dossier on hospital preparation and the current status of hospitals and occupancy is published.
As of Sunday, a total of 3,906 beds will be available in hospitals, of which 629 beds are in the intensive care unit, 1,984 beds in the intensive care unit, 1,293 beds in the intensive care unit and without oxygen, and 307 are ventilators. The district’s total pollution exceeded 1.03 lakh.