Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh overwhelmed by Covid-19 wave

Covid-19 overwhelms healthcare system in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh

Lack of adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour has been found in all the three states that need to enhance the level of enforcement

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The second wave of Covid-19 has begun to overwhelm the healthcare systems as shortage of staff, oxygen, ventilator and ICU beds are being reported from some of the worst hit districts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab where daily Covid-19 count and toll are on a steady rise.

The central teams visiting Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab reported multiple loopholes ranging from lack of oxygen and ambulance services to poor perimeter control in the containment zones that the state administrations need to plug.

In Maharashtra – hardest hit by the epidemic in the second surge - testing capacity has been overwhelmed in six districts, oxygen supply is an issue in four and healthcare staff is in short supply in seven districts affecting services like monitoring of patients at home.+

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In Chhattisgarh that reported more than 14,000 new Covid-19 cases and 123 deaths in the last 24 hours, emergency beds have been exhausted in the worst affected districts. There is 100 per cent occupancy of ICU beds in eight out of ten districts and 80-100 per cent ventilator occupancy in four out of six districts.

The situation is similar in two Maharashtra districts (Ahmednagar, Nandurbar) where barely any ICU and ventilator beds are available because of 100 per cent occupancy.

The central Indian state that reported more than 10,000 new cases daily for the last four consecutive days has a shortage of ambulances, delaying arrival of the patients in hospitals. In Korba, Durg, Balod districts there are very few RT-PCR tests, which according to the central guideline should be 70 per cent of all the tests in order to find out the hidden infections.

In Punjab, which continues to report high Covid-19 mortality, lack of dedicated hospitals and Covid care facilities combined with staff shortage are key issues in SAS Nagar and Rupnagar (Ropar) districts that are among the hardest hit.

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These are some of the findings of the central teams visiting 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh and nine districts Punjab for an on-the spot assessment of the ground situations to aid the state administration. Based on their reports, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the states flagging the gaps.

Lack of adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour has been found in all the three states that need to enhance the level of enforcement.

With more than 11.08 lakh active cases, the peak in active cases in the second surge overtook the first peak reported on September 18. Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala cumulatively account for 71 per cent of total active cases with Maharashtra alone accounting for nearly half of the total active cases.

In the last 24 hours, 1,52,879 new cases and 839 Covid-19 deaths were reported.