Steady drop in Covid cases in Telangana

Positivity rate also on decrease, but officials say complete normalcy is few more months away

By   |  Published: 29th Sep 2020  10:06 pmUpdated: 30th Sep 2020  12:41 am

Hyderabad: The positivity rate and contagiousness of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are on the decline in Telangana, according to the State health officials. The steady drop in Covid-19 infections is a good sign but attaining complete normalcy, resembling pre-Covid days, is few more months away, authorities said here on Tuesday.

The R0 (pronounced as R nought), which indicates how contagious an infectious disease is and is an important marker to indicate the disease progression and also defined as the average number of people that one Covid-19 positive person can infect, in the State is also gradually decreasing.

The R0 in Telangana during May and July was close to 1.8, which means one positive patient was infecting nearly two more persons, which was having an exponential affect on cases. That contagiousness or infectivity is now less than 0.5 in areas falling under GHMC and close to 0.8 across the State.

The positivity rate of Covid-19 is also on gradual decline. In June, the positivity rate had peaked to 23 per cent in TS , which means out of 100 persons tested, 23 persons were positive. However, by September, the positivity rate came down to four percent, officials said.

“There could be multiple reasons for the decline in cases. Extensive availability of Covid-19 testing enabling early diagnosis and isolation of symptomatic and asymptomatic persons is one reason and the other is that the general public have by and large adhered to our advisories. They have extensively used masks, maintained physical distancing and personal hygiene,” Director of Public Health (DPH), Dr G Srinivasa Rao, said.

Drop in seasonal ailments

The Covid-19 pandemic and lack of treatment options has forced people to change and adopt to better lifestyle, aimed at improving their hygiene and immunity, which helped reduce the annual burden of seasonal ailments.

Interacting with press persons on Monday, Dr Rao along with Director of Medical Education (DME), Dr K Ramesh Reddy, acknowledged that compared to last year, seasonal ailments like dengue have come down this year.

“Due to Covid-19, people have changed and adopted a better and improved lifestyle. The epidemic has also made public health officials to be on the alert 24-hours. All these have contributed in drop in seasonal vector and water-borne ailments including dengue, malaria and viral fevers,” Dr. Reddy said.

State preparing for second wave of Covid

Despite drop in cases of Covid-19 cases, the health authorities are in the process of strengthening health care infrastructure in the State. “So far, our anticipation and planning to develop infrastructure has been vindicated. The occupancy ratio of government hospitals with Covid-19 patients is just about 25 per cent, which means 75 per cent of the beds are available. We will, however continue to develop infrastructure,” Dr. Reddy said.

In the coming months, almost all the hospitals beds in government hospitals in Telangana will have oxygen lines. Efforts are on to develop at least 9000 beds with oxygen supply in each of the 33 districts.

Authorities are also in the process of restoring non-Covid healthcare services across all government hospitals. “At present, dedicated Covid hospitals like Gandhi Hospital will continue to provide Covid services. However, other hospitals will start non-Covid services in the coming days,” the DME said.

Grievances on pvt hospitals drop

A few months ago, the State government received large number of grievances on private hospitals from patients.

“In August, we received over 500 grievances and before that we received even more complaints. The number of complaints fell to 110 in September, because of the number of interventions from the State government. We have resolved over 300 grievances, mostly related to billing,” Dr Srinivasa Rao said.

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