By S.T. Ravi Kumar
Battling killer Coronavirus and preventing its spread requires a concerted effort from various Government Departments, Police agencies, volunteers and, of course, the public in large. Only if all join hands can we fight the pandemic and uproot it from the locality, district, State and country.
In Mysuru, over 9,000 personnel from various Departments, health workers and civil volunteers are engaged in the battle against the deadly virus. Apart from 500 doctors, 250 nurses and other para-medical staff, the frontline warriors in the district include 1,700 ASHA workers, 1,000 health assistants, 150 pharmacists,120 lab technicians, 400 ‘D’ Group employees and 100 drivers.
Apart from this, several ‘D’ Group employees of Health and Family Welfare Department, Middle-Level Health Providers (MLHP), Health coordinators of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Counsellors, Block Programme Managers, District Programme Officers and Accounts Managers too are part of the battle and have been assigned tasks by the Deputy Commissioner.
The Medical Education Department too is at the frontline of the battle with MMC&RI Dean and Director Dr. C.P. Nanjaraj, over 50 doctors attached to K.R. Hospital and PKTB Sanatorium, Post-Graduate medical students, Staff Nurses, Pharmacists, Para-medical staff, sweepers and security guards engaged in the battle against the virus at the designated COVID-19 Hospital on KRS Road.
BM Hospital converted as Isolation Centre
The District Administration, which has taken control of the non-functional BM Hospital on Hunsur Road, has converted it into an Isolation Centre. The suspect patients for whom home quarantine is not possible, are brought here and kept in isolation.
The authorities have converted Indra Comforts near Seshadripuram College on Hebbal Ring Road and Viceroy Hotel on Bengaluru-Nilgiri Road as quarantine centres and those who are found symptomatic are quarantined in these centres.
All doctors and other medical staff working at COVID-19 Hospital, Sample Collection Centres, Quarantine Centres, Isolation Centres, Fever Clinics and other high risk spots are compulsorily required to wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which costs Rs.1,750 each. Also these PPEs are meant for one-time use and the doctors and other staff who use it, have to dispose it of safely as per protocol.
All the blood and throat swab samples collected from COVID-19 suspects and symptomatic patients are tested at the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory located in Microbiology Wing of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI). The test of each sample costs Rs.2,750. Such persons, who test positive for COVID-19, will be immediately taken to the COVID-19 Hospital for treatment while those tested negative will be kept under a 14-day isolation.
The District Administration spends lakhs of rupees every day to provide food to doctors and other staff at the hospital, sterilisation of equipment, spraying of disinfectants, management of quarantine and Isolation Centres and for other precautionary and safety measures.
The Administration is also spending for sample collection and transportation of patients in ambulances. Five ambulances are designated for the purpose and every ambulance is regularly sterilised. The expenses also include fogging and spraying of disinfectants in residential areas and public places, maintenance of vehicles, contact tracing and treatment and other related expenses.
With the number of COVID-19 positive cases rising in the District, Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar, City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, DCP Dr. A.N. Prakash Gowda, Superintendent of Police C.B. Ryshyanth, District Health Officer Dr. R. Venkatesh, MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde and other top officials are working round-the-clock overseeing the precautionary and safety measures.