It was team effort that helped bring down number of cases: Collector

Focus was on early identification of patients with door-to-door survey

The multi-pronged strategy adopted by the district administration has brought down the number of fresh COVID-19 cases in Tirunelveli district and also the number of deaths.

When the number of fresh cases started sky-rocketing with the onset of the ‘second wave,’ demand for medical oxygen too shot up. The district reported 1,107 fresh cases on May 9 last and the number hovered between 600 and 800 over the next two weeks. Unfortunately, the southern districts were then staring at oxygen shortage that worsened the situation further.

So, Collector V. Vishnu deployed health workers to check the parameters of every resident at their doorstep and lift swab samples from COVID-19 suspects.

The focus was on early identification of patients as patients coming to the hospital in the eleventh hour require huge quantity of medical oxygen to save them. The suspects and the patients coming for treatment were first directed to the triaging centre created at Gandhimathi School that averted long wait for screening and admission in the hospital, if it is required. While the patients with serious symptoms were immediately admitted to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital opposite the triaging centre, people with mild symptoms were taken to the COVID Care Centres.

The remaining asymptomatic patients were asked to be in home quarantine.

Meanwhile, the 24×7 COVID Control Room established at the Collectorate to follow the patients – right from identifying them during the doorstep check to treatment – had positive impact on the patients. When Minister for Medical Ma. Subramanian was apprised of its functioning during his visit to the COVID Control Room recently, he was quite amazed at it, saying that it was far superior to the model being followed in Chennai.

The Collector also introduced ‘oxygen nurses’ for optimal usage of medical oxygen. This system drastically cut down the oxygen usage by the COVID-19 patients as they were given only the right quantum of the life-saving gas based on their medical conditions and frequently checked oxygen saturation levels.

All these measures have resulted in number of new cases coming down from over 1,000 to below 200 and the number of deaths remain in single digit.

“This success scripted by the district administration is purely a team effort and the credit should go to everyone involved in it. The tahsildars of Radhapuram and Thisaiyanvilai did a stellar job along with the Sub-Collectors while doctors of Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital – right from the Dean to the nurses – rose to the occasion. And we’re reaping the benefit today,” Mr. Vishnu said.

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