By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 3 May: The ongoing second wave of the Corona pandemic in the state is showing no signs of abating. As many as 128 deaths related to Corona were reported in the state in the past 24 hours. A total of 5403 fresh cases of Covid-19 were reported in the state in past 24 hours with 38,174 tests conducted during this period. Dehradun, as usual, continues to lead in the number of cases with 2026 fresh cases reported from 9737 tests conducted in the district. This indicates a positivity rate of 20 percent. Despite the need to do so, Dehradun in particular and most other districts have not been able to ramp up testing, with a large number of persons waiting for several days to get tested and then waiting more days to get their test reports. Despite some efforts by the state and the district administrations to augment the health infrastructure, people were running from pillar to post to get admitted in hospitals. Despite having established control rooms to oversee the bed vacancies in the hospitals and ensure fair distribution of oxygen and other essential life saving drugs to deal with the serious cases of Covid infection, a large number of people are still not able to get hospital beds. The availability of ICU beds remained critical with almost none available, despite the fact that around 3344 cases of recovery from the infection were reported, of which 1496 recoveries were in Dehradun alone in the past 24 hours.
Most helpline numbers are unable to help a large number of people with oxygen and beds. However, the situation regarding Remdesivir availability has improved significantly with over 9,000 injections received from the Centre.
Makeshift hospitals or Covid care centres with ICU and oxygen beds are required to be set up on urgent basis if maximum possible lives are to be saved.
Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat today dialled his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani and urged him to supply oxygen cylinders and oxygen to meet the rapidly rising demand.
Another thing that people with serious Covid infection are desperately looking for is plasma donation from the patients having recovered from Corona infection belonging to various blood groups. Not many who recovered seem to be coming forward to donate plasma, so far, raising the question whether it shouldn’t be made mandatory for the recovered patients to donate plasma.
Another issue of concern is the fact that as against up to 60,000 persons getting Covid vaccines per day in Uttarakhand, the number of persons who got vaccinated today had fallen to just 8941 which probably indicates shortage of vaccines. Many authorised Vaccine centres, especially the paid ones do not have vaccine stocks. This situation is likely to continue for a few more days till the fresh stock of vaccines arrives.
As far as lockdown or Covid curfew is concerned, the government seems to be in a huge dilemma, Yesterday, the government decided to extend the Covid curfew in places like Dehradun, Haridwar and Nainital, etc., till 6 May. This seems to an ad hoc decision without a clear plan how to go about the lockdown even as the second wave continues to wreak havoc in the state, which has become the fourth state as far as daily cases are concerned despite the fact that it is home to merely 0.8 percent of the country’s population.