<strong>Health experts suggest calling specialists from AIIMS to help fight rising COVID deaths </strong>

Health experts suggest calling specialists from AIIMS to help fight rising COVID deaths

TMB Report

IMPHAL: With mounting corona deaths, eight medical/health experts have suggested that it is time to call AIIMS specialists for 2 day orientation course of our doctors in Manipur.

Recently, CM Biren has done 3 commendable works viz. keeping Health portfolio under him; appointing Dr. Ranjan as Advisor (Health) to CM and appointing one doctor as State Mission Director, National Health Mission, the specialists said adding that this will bring cohesiveness and long overdue policy changes. “We are thankful to CM for these changes. We are of the view that Secretariat Health Department and Medical Directorate requires an overhauling to bring an effective strategy especially in our fight against Covid19,” the specialists said.

As far as COVID is concerned, on the negative side, the tiny state is having average 200-350 new cases (almost all Community transmission) during the last one month. We expect more transmission because of by-elections, Ningol Chakkouba festival and coming up winter, the experts said adding that the virus strives in winter as is shown in European countries and in Delhi in India (pollution additional factor). Manipur also continues to have highest active ratio case (% of active case out of total caseload) competing with Kerala, HP & Mizoram for first 4 spots in the range of 15-18.50%. National average is 5.63%. Districtwise- IW&IE as 1st category and Thoubal, Bishenpur, Tamenglong as 2nd category has to be noted down for new cases and as problematic area. 2-5 deaths per day (highest 9) is also a cause for much concern and worry; hence, the need to call AIIMS specialists for 2 day orientation course of our doctors, they suggested.

On the positive side, the health specialists said that recovery rate is good in the range of 80-85% but is below national average of 92-93%. Also, luckily, we are in the early or mild stage of community transmission and not yet down to moderate and severe form of Community transmission (we repeat – these mild, moderate & severe form of definition is our own and not a textbook definition). A central team also visited us and had certain recommendations. One can compare those with our recommendations since August. In fact, everyone interested should have a comparison and say which one is better. Also, Union Health Minister, 1-2 days back, monitored our state, they stated.

With around 2900 active case, we should not be panicky, rather we strategize our own, strengthen monitoring and evaluation exercise and re-strategise again and again, they said. The experts/specialists also recommended the following points.

Control strategy: a) CC observation centres- keep separate wings for +ve and –ve persons and do 2 times testing, 1 week apart; b) declare containment zones with strict follow up and do total survey and testing of all persons. Here also, do 2 times testing of all people; c) no home isolation & home treatment for those not having proper facility – separate room, separate bathroom, hand washing facility, 24 hr. water supply, proper dustbin/disposal, temperature/BP recording, 24 hr medical staff  supervision etc. etc. We are of the view that this home isolation and treatment is the major cause of spread of Corona here, hence, it be discarded soon. Reasons for this strategy were highlighted in our previous press releases and will not repeat here again. Home isolation & treatment without these facilities and not doing total population survey in Containment zones are also against ICMR guidelines.

Required bed: We have shown that we have enough beds, no need for separate hospital. Instead, convert 100 bedded TB hospital at Keirao Wangkhem as Covid hospital and strengthen other hospitals whenever required. Increase Covid reserved beds at 2 medical colleges and in private hospitals. With around 3,000 active cases, only 20% of this requires hospitalisation – 15% mild form and about 5% severe form requiring ventilation support. That means only 600 beds are required presently, out of this, only 150 beds required in ICU with ventilator and other critical supports. Remaining 80% mild cases are kept at Covid care treatment centres. We have to divide CCCs as mild/asymptomatic treatment centres and observation centres category-wise. Enough beds are available for this.  Important is – we have to plan it district-wise accordingly. Hope, authorities will note it down and strategise accordingly.

Central team visit: It has submitted it recommendations. Some are at par with our recommendations. The disappointing part is – it has not mentioned anything about control strategy as seen in newspaper reports. We expected something to touch upon it.

Preventive measures: Information, education and communication (IEC) are the 3 pillars of preventive measures. Priority lies in mask use, physical distancing of 6 feet apart (not 3 feet), frequent hand washing and avoiding crowded places whenever possible. Regular orientation of medical staff along with local NGOs at hospitals, CHCs, PHCs & Sub-centres have already been emphasised. Strict implementation of SOP with heavy fine has already been mentioned and propagated as people are taking it casually.

Sero-surveillance & more testing: The state requires more and more testing to know the extent of +ve cases in the population. Sero-surveillance is one and to be done by random method consisting 10% of population as sample size. It is simple one, take help of statistical department for random sampling and testing be done by RAT kits. All India finding and other independent state-wise surveys had shown that 1 in every 4 person is +ve meaning 25% of population are asymptomatic carriers of Covid. We must do it at least in IW & IE districts.

Opening of OPD of  JNIMS & RIMS: The 2 may be opened forthwith without any hitch with Covid & non-Covid OPDs separately. The same is done in AIIMS and other medical colleges of India. Here also, all private hospitals are opening to full strength with uncontrolled payment; we see no rationale in restricting OPDs. In fact, by doing so, we are doing a favour to private hospitals.

The eight public Health specialist doctors/retired Programme officers are Dr. Th. Suresh Singh, Ex-Director Health & a public health specialist and administrator; Dr Sh. Shurchandra Sharma, Pathologist & Ex-Director Health; Dr. L. Shantikumar Singh, retired Professor, Community Medicine, JNIMS; Dr. S. Sukumar Singh, retired CMO and a public health specialist and administrator; r. Ibochou Singh, retired State Malaria Officer and WHO programme specialist; Dr. Ak Khamba, retired State TB Officer and Public Health Specialist; Dr. H. Priyokumar Singh, retired District AIDS Officer & Public Health Specialist and Dr. A.S. Felix Khating, Public Health Specialist & retired District AIDS Officer.

Close Menu