Over 1.28 lakh people have been diagnosed with fever and other symptoms in Telangana over the past 48 hours ending January 23, giving an indication of the extent of the spread of the third wave of COVID-19 infections in Telangana.
The numbers have been garnered from the Telangana government’s ongoing fever survey in the State, wherein teams from the Health Department, accompanied by personnel from the Municipal Administration Department in urban areas and Panchayat Raj staff in rural areas, have been visiting homes in the State to check whether any of the residents had symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cold, sore throat and cough.
The survey has indicated that one out of every four people surveyed has had one or the other symptom over the last one month. The survey, which began across the State on January 21, has resulted in the authorities identifying people with COVID-19 symptoms and distributing home isolation kits free of cost to them.
According to Telangana’s Health minister T. Harish Rao, “As many as 29.2 lakh houses were surveyed during the last two days and over one lakh people had COVID-related symptoms”. Stating that the government was ready to face the third wave, Harish Rao disclosed that the government has taken several measures including keeping in place 56,000 beds in government hospitals and making special arrangements for pregnant women who tested positive for the coronavirus. The Minister claimed that testing kits had “been positioned at all levels right from major government hospitals to primary health care centres and ANM (auxiliary nurse midwives) managed sub-centres at the village level”. The Minister also disclosed that the survey will conclude over the next four to five days.
Said Harish Rao: “The government has kept two crore testing kits and one crore home isolation kits ready. Though there is shortage of the kits in the market, their availability is ensured [thanks to] the advance planning of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.”
Of the 29.26 lakh households that have been surveyed, 1,28,079 people have been diagnosed with fever and other symptoms and home isolation kits been distributed to 1,27,372.
Each home isolation kit—which is meant for persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have started developing symptoms—contains seven medicines and a leaflet on how to use them. The medicines include Azithromycin (antibiotics/antiviral), Paracetamol (fever), Levocetirizine (cold), Ranitidine (acidity), Vitamin C, Multivitamin and Vitamin D for improving immunity. The medicines must be taken for five days. The advisory asks patients to monitor their temperature on a daily basis, do a six-minute walk at normal pace and contact a doctor immediately if their temperature continues to persist or if they experience breathlessness after undertaking the six-minute walk.
On January 23, Telangana reported 3,603 new COVID-19 cases, with the number of active cases at 32,094. Officials from the Health Department, however, are maintaining a positive outlook since the State’s positivity rate continues to remain low at around 3.5 per cent. Officials are battling the issue of people being reluctant to undergo tests even when they have symptoms.