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Tamil Nadu and Kerala have fought the Covid tsunami well so far | India News

The tsunami of Covid cases has caused the healthcare system to collapse in one state after another, exposing the lack of preparedness. People call for help as they rush from hospital to hospital in search of a bed, oxygen, medicine, ambulances, or even funeral vans. With clogged helplines, unreachable nodal officers, and dashboards and apps lacking real-time data, some are turning to social media Samaritans in desperation. But there are two states, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, that have yet to witness such scenes. Both states appear to have learned important lessons from the latest surge and stand out for their public health approach to addressing the pandemic and preparedness in terms of implementing a system that takes responsibility for guiding treatment once a person tests positive for Covid. .
Unlike other states, how different has the approach been in Tamil Nadu and Kerala? In Tamil Nadu, Chennai has the highest number of cases and 75% of Covid beds are occupied. But instead of frantic relatives running around, the corporation has stepped in to assure citizens that they don’t need to go directly to hospitals. “Anyone with a serious illness will be given preference for quality care and immediate treatment will be started. It is common sense. Those with mild symptoms should go to the screening center, ”explained corporation commissioner G Prakash, adding that such a patient management system was important to avoid what was happening in other cities where people were lying in the street. road waiting for treatment.
Similar arrangements have been made in all districts of Tamil Nadu. The state government has also stored oxygen and centrally purchased all the necessary drugs for the treatment of Covid. These arrangements have ensured that people do not fill hospitals in a panic. It has also prevented desperate patients from being looted in the name of providing ambulances, oxygen or medicine. The ambulance, screening center services, and RTPCR tests are free to patients.
In Kerala, a classification system has also been implemented that involves public health personnel and different levels of the health system, along with teleconsultation facilities for patients to consult doctors without having to travel to hospitals. Except for a small percentage of outpatients who choose private hospitals and choose to pay for them themselves, for the majority, all Covid-related services are free in the public health system. “We are preparing for an even higher patient load. But no health system can continue to expand. Therefore, we are striving to reduce the number of cases to ease the burden on the system, ”said Dr. Mohammed Asheel, Executive Director of the Kerala Social Security Mission, even as daily Covid cases in the state have exceeded 28,000 out of about 14,000 a week. By making use of the public health chart and different levels of treatment centers, these states have managed to minimize the burden on the health system even as they prepare for a surge.
“If a patient comes to a hospital, it should be the responsibility of the hospital to find the closest bed so that patients have to go to one place. There is an urgent need for a well-functioning control room that knows the number of beds open for admission and where. What patients are going through is shocking and unacceptable, ”said Dr. T Sundararaman, global health coordinator for the Peoples Health Movement.
Kapil Chopra of Charity Beds, who has been helping people find beds in Delhi, says the number of cases has flooded the system. “The government keeps talking about available beds. Just go to the hospital and you will see a line of ambulances outside. There are people sitting in ambulances and dying in ambulances. It is too late to talk about a system, ”he said.

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