After inflicting irreparable damages in major cities and towns like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur, the new variant of coronavirus is now seen present in remote villages across the country. Small towns like Pallalahara Dhenkanal district or Muniguda in Rayagada district; or villages like Patkura and Arjunpur in Kendrapara of Bhuban in Dhenkanal district have been affected by this pandemic, indicating the gravity of the situation.
This grave situation calls for urgent actions by both the Union government and the state administration. Covid-10 positives requiring critical medical care must be provided beds with oxygen and ventilator support without any hassles. Reports coming from Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nuapara, Bolangir and other parts of the state depict the sorry state of affairs. Hospitals are overcrowded and the steady increase in positivity rate threatens that the situation would be beyond control any time soon.
The major problem at district level and rural belts is non-availability of adequate number of ICU and HDU beds. Since most of the patients suffer from lung infections and experience sudden fall in oxygen saturation level, Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs) are the minimum required medical care for them. Patients falling critically ill are allegedly not getting ICU and HDU beds at the time of need. While poor patients leave themselves to their fate, the others who can afford their bill are visiting Visakhapatnam and other cities.
Transferring patients from other districts to state capital Bhubaneswar has also not been that easy as major Covid hospitals here have reportedly no vacant ICUs and HDUs. Waiting lists and maintained here and accordingly critical patients are admitted.
As the Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan facilitated a 10-bed state-of-the-art Covid hospital at Bargarh on Tuesday, similar facilities need to be developed in districts like Nuapara, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kandhamal and Deogarh which do not have good medical colleges or hospitals nearby.
As we sit with our fingers crossed and apprehend a more lethal third wave, it’s time we ensured a full-proof arrangement to see that the precious lives of our people are saved.