Wary of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that is likely to arrive in Vizag in the next few months, district officials have been making all necessary arrangements to tackle it. Currently, the number of Covid-19 cases in Vizag has declined, with the city reporting not more than 150-200 cases per day. Now that the number of cases is low, the partial curfew has been lifted, with shops, malls, parks, food joints and cinema theatres opening up. But, the district officials in Vizag are taking all precautions in order to tackle the third wave of the pandemic, including the construction of an oxygen pipeline to serve all the government hospitals. Studies say that the third wave is likely to intensify in October 2021.
As per an order issued by the Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand IAS, Andhra Pradesh Medical Services & Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC) are constructing an oxygen pipeline in Vizag, at an estimated budget of Rs 6 crore. Once the construction work is complete, around 520 oxygen beds will be made available at King George Hospital (KGH), VIMS, Government, TB and Chest Hospital, and at government hospitals in Anakapalle, Paderu, Araku, Narsipatnam, APVP, Aganampudi, Chintapalli and Kotapadu. Also 367 oxygen beds, at these hospitals, will be turned into ICU beds. Around 4,000 oxygen-ICU beds will be made available, at all the government hospitals in the district, by the time the third wave of the pandemic hits Vizag. For Teaching Hospitals and Community Health Care centres, three pipelines are being constructed for oxygen supply.
Further, in the CSR block at KGH, 100 oxygen beds and 100 ICUs are being made available exclusively for children. These ICU beds are being modified with ventilator support for emergencies.
Currently, there are around 33 Covid-19 treating hospitals in the city, while a majority of the government and private hospitals have resumed regular medical services. A nodal officer has been deployed to every government and private hospital to make all the preparations for the third wave. These precautionary measures are being put into action after witnessing the situation during the second wave. There were days when Vizag was reporting more than 2,200 cases, and a high number of deaths, with the major reason being that people were unable to find an oxygen bed in any hospital.