GUWAHATI: The State Health Department is foreseeing the number of COVID-19 cases reaching its peaks in May-June in the State. It has already started to get ready to combat the menace.
The Department is taking such a view given the rapid infection rate of the new COVID variants that have been detected in the State.
The positivity rate of the current wave of the COVID-19 virus is such that the total number of positive cases in the State rose to around 10,000 in the past ten days, besides the death of 40 in the past 15 days.
During the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020, the Union Health Ministry did sound a note of caution to the State Government that the number of COVID-affected patients would swell up to a certain limit within a specific period. The Union Ministry did also ask the State Government to be ready with men, medicines and other healthcare infrastructures to face the health crisis.
However, there has been no such note of caution to the State government from the Centre this year as yet. And this has led the State Health Department to study the would-be COVID situation in the State by May-June. It has chalked out an action plan to face any such eventuality.
Taking the experience of the first COVID-19 wave and the rapid infection of the second wave into consideration, the department has presumed a tentative number of around 5,000 COVID-19 positive cases in the State daily by May-end and early June this year. Taking that in mind, the State government has instructed all deputy commissioners of the State to equip themselves with men, medicines and medical infrastructure to tackle the would-be situation.
According to sources in the State Health Department, the daily detection of positive cases in the State was 92 on April 7 and that rose to around 2,000 on April 22.
To cope with the would-be situation, the Department has a plan to convert all the medical colleges and 23 Government hospitals of the State into COVID hospitals in phase 1.
In phase 2, the Department has a plan to convert 280 hospitals, including private ones, and public health centres (PHCs) into COVID hospitals.
In phase 3, the Department has the plan to set up 1,000 COVID care centres in ready infrastructures like colleges, hostels, stadiums, vacant buildings etc., in the State.
To make this happen, the Department has already asked the deputy commissioners to spot such ready infrastructures and their approach roads.
The Department is going to set up a 750-bed COVID camp hospital with ICU (Intensive Care Unit) facilities at Khanapara here. A COVID care centre has been already started functioning at Sarusajai stadium in the city.