How Telangana’s Nizamabad district is battling the COVID-19 crisis

Nizamabad which borders Maharashtra state has been registering COVID-19 cases on par with Rangareddy district.
A police man checking the documents of a motorist
A police man checking the documents of a motorist

Nizamabad district, which has been consistently recording a high number of COVID-19 cases in Telangana for the past two weeks, is now mulling to increase the bed capacity in the Government General Hospital to 500, by adding 200 more beds, said District Medical Health Officer Dr M Sudarshan on Thursday. The Superintendent said that all the 300 beds in the hospital are now occupied, hence the decision to augment bed capacity has been taken. 

Nizamabad, which borders Maharashtra state, has been registering COVID-19 cases on par with Rangareddy district, which is an urban area adjoining Hyderabad. As a measure to curtail the spread of the virus, the district administration has decided to do a thermal screening of all travellers coming from Maharashtra and test the people who have temperatures beyond 100 degrees F. Along with this, screenings are being conducted in railway stations and bus stations, but with a shortage of staff and doctors, the frontline workers doing the screening and testing are completely exhausted, said district health officials. “The staff who were supposed to work for eight hours are now working for 12 hours. They are facing fatigue. It is a tragedy,” said an official.

Four roads connect Maharashtra and Nizamabad, and the authorities are maintaining vigilance to screen and test the travellers. “The Maharashtra natives are asked to return if they test positive. And the Telangana natives, if test positive with mild symptoms, are given primary treatment and we are sending them to home isolation with the medical toolkit,” said the DMHO.

In the past one week, Nizamabad has been recording around 200 cases daily. As the district is recording a high number of cases, only critical cases requiring medical attention are being given treatment in hospitals while the rest are advised home isolation. Further, the district authorities have opened up six treatment centres across the district to accommodate the patients.

On Thursday, the district recorded 279 cases, the highest after Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Medchal-Malkajgiri district which witnessed 446 and 314 cases.

Acknowledging the situation, State Chief Secretary K Somesh Kumar on Thursday after holding a review meeting with higher officials, instructed them to increase the bed strength further by including private medical colleges.

The Chief Secretary directed the district collectors to ramp up testing, intensify vaccination and focus on enforcing the government orders on COVID appropriate behavior.  Similarly, COVID care centers should be doubled in all the districts, and private hospitals should also be sensitised on the judicious usage of oxygen, he said.

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