Nagpur: For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began more than two years ago, a full month has passed when there is absolutely no need to hospitalize any coronavirus patient in the Nagpur district.
Initially, Covid patients without symptoms will also be admitted to the isolation ward, which is completely closed now. Private hospitals had also closed their isolation wards long ago and started regular health services. Also, IGGMCH and AIIMS had completely closed their Covid wards after the rush of other patients.
Even during the peak of the second wave in March-April 2021, the hospitalization rate was higher than the total capacity of the district. Enrollments never went this high again and have been falling ever since. This year, during June-July, even a minor surge has not raised any alarm at all.
The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) was the only hospital running a 30-bed isolation ward. Where 5 to 10 Covid patients were admitted till the beginning of the month of November. Many of these Covid patients even needed oxygen support or staying in the ICU. However, no new admission has been seen in the ward as well.
As on date, there are eight active coronavirus patients in the district, but they are either in home isolation or untraceable.
At the same time, the vaccination program has also come to a standstill due to the non-availability of Covishield and Corbevax vaccines in the district. Dr Prashant Patil, head of the medicine department of GMCH, has also said that only a few Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) patients are admitted in the isolation ward.
“These cases have also come down. We do Covid and H1N1 tests on SARI patients as they are respiratory diseases. But for quite some time now, there has been absolutely no new Covid or swine flu case,” Dr Prashant Patil said.
Though the test is negative, SARI patients are showing COVID-like symptoms. “SARI patients are facing a drop in oxygen level and also need ICU care. We are keeping a close watch on all such patients as we cannot afford to leave even a single Covid patient. There is always a risk of community spread if a Covid patient is not traced.” Dr Prashant Patil said.
Meanwhile, the city’s vaccination officials remained clueless about the availability of either Covishield or Corbevax. The number of takers is also not much, but for those who need a second or booster doses, only a few of them have remained in limbo.
On some occasions, city officials have even borrowed doses from the district health office to vaccinate beneficiaries traveling abroad.