The continued fall in COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Mysuru has come as a breather for exhausted doctors and other healthcare staff, particularly those in the government set-up, who had been working strenuously from the past seven months battling the pandemic.
Cases in Mysuru surged till October second week and have seen a drop since then. The case fatality rate, which was the second highest in the State after Bengaluru, is also coming down, much to the relief of healthcare professionals. Several beds in designated hospitals here are empty. Mysuru had 733 active cases as on Monday.
“The steady fall in new infections and deaths has of course eased the workload on doctors and healthcare staff who were working tirelessly, sometimes even doing double shifts,” said Mysore Medical College and Research Institute Dean and Director C.P. Nanjaraj.
The designated COVID-19 hospital on KRS Road, which worked under immense pressure when the infection rate flattened, is being run in two floors with the drop in cases. All four storeys of the 250-bed hospital were being used till recently when over 300 patients used to be treated when the pandemic was in peak. Today, it has less than 65 patients. The State-run K.R. Hospital, which was treating nearly 200 patients daily, has less than 20 patients now.
Besides the hospitals under the Departments of Medical Education and the Health and Family Welfare, the private hospitals too were under stress as there was a time when active cases here had crossed 10,000. Barring the critically ill and patients with co-morbidities who were treated in hospitals, the rest were either home isolated or monitored in COVID-19 Care Centres (functioning under the government and private set-up).
The shortage of beds when cases had surged had put the authorities on their toes since handling so many cases at one go had become a big challenge with the infrastructure here not as expansive for managing the major health crisis.
District Vector-Borne Diseases Control Officer Chidambar told The Hindu that the crisis has eased with the sharp decline in infections. The workload of the curative staff has eased. However, for those in the preventive side, who are on the field collecting swabs, spreading awareness and in general management of the situation, the work continues to be the same.
“Those directly handling patients could relax if the field staff work to their maximum,” he said, adding that patient care also tends to improve with fewer cases, helping the staff to give focussed attention on treatment.