With 873 confirmed cases and 20 deaths, India is entering stage-3 of the COVID-19 outbreak. The number of patients admitted in various hospitals across the country has seen a sharp rise in March. 149 new cases were reported in the country in the last 24 hours. The increase in positive cases has been also quite rapid in the last four days in Delhi, Maharashtra and Kerala. In the wake of this, the administration is strengthening the measures on a war footing both in terms of prevention of spread and the management of social crisis.
Stage-3 is critical as it essentially indicates the spread of the virus through community transmission. At the is level, the infection would be rapid and the situation may go out of control as the hospitals and other medical facilities and resources become insufficient to handle the requirement.
Though the country’s apex medical research facilitator –Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other agencies empowered with the COVID-19 crisis management task has maintained that the community transmission of the virus hasn’t started yet, the preparations to tackle such a situation have already begun at the government level.
But a recent statement by Dr Girdhar Gyani, convenor of the task force for Covid-19 hospitals, has set the alarm bells ringing. “The pandemic is rapidly expanding its footprint in India and has entered stage three, which is community transmission,” he said in a media interview.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a media briefing on Friday said that his administration is equipped to handle 100 Covid-19 cases in a day. He said that the Delhi government is now working on the plan to tackle stage 3 of Covid-19 outbreak.
“At present, things are under control, but in case it slips out of hand where the number of cases increases exponentially, we have to be ready with all the arrangements. The 5-member committee of doctors – which was set up to give us an action plan that would kick in if the city enters stage-3 of the coronavirus spread – has submitted its report,” he said.
Kejriwal said the panel has recommended an action plan in three stages. Stage 1 where the number of patients is 100 per day, stage 2 where the number of patients is 500 per day and stage 3 when the number of patients is 1,000 per day.
“Delhi is prepared till stage 1. This means, if we start getting 100 coronavirus patients per day, our hospitals will be able to take the load. What we are now preparing for a scenario where the number of patients is 500 or 1,000 every day. The requirement of isolation beds, ventilators, ICU beds, testing kits and tests to be conducted, ambulances, doctors, nurses, their transportation and accommodation – everything is being worked out. We have the SoP ready now. We are already working on a plan for a stage if have 1,000 patients a day. Hope such a situation does not arise,” the chief minister said.India has already allowed private laboratories to carry out testing COVID-19 increasing the number of tests done daily.
With 39 new and a total number of 124 cases reported in Kerala, the state has become another hotspot for the infection after Maharashtra, which has so far reported 159 cases. Meanwhile, Maharashtra continued to report a high number of cases per day.
Globally, the number of reported cases have already reached 5,97,458, with the US becoming the epic centre more that 1,04,256 cases overtaking China. The total deaths reported in the world has touched 27,370. About 1,34,000 patient have also recovered from the acute condition in the world so far.