Hyderabad: Even as Telangana recorded its highest ever daily tally of Covid-19 cases at 4,446 on Friday, this may just be the beginning of what is in store in the next few weeks.
“No one, absolutely no one, should let their guard down till the end of June as the virus is spreading extremely rapidly through the population. The government is doing all it can but unless people join in the efforts to curb the spread of Coronavirus, we will lose this battle,” Director of Health Services Dr G Srinivasa Rao warned on Saturday.
He said if that happens, there may be nothing that can save the people. For the past few months, people have been careless and have been ignoring basic protection measures. The virus is airborne, something he said he warned about four days ago, and a new study published in the medical journal Lancet too points to the same mode of transmission of the virus.
“It is, however, good to see mask-wearing compliance increase over the past few days thanks to the enforcement drive by the police who have been fining every person not wearing a mask Rs 1,000. Safety behaviour should be voluntary and it is surprising see that it has taken steep fines for people to follow the guidelines,” he said.
“We must learn lessons from the past. The 1918 Spanish Flu during its first wave killed about 50 lakh people. Everyone thought it had gone away and when it returned in a second wave up to 7 crore people worldwide lost their lives. Covid-19 is a pandemic. It cannot be cured. It must be contained and it can be done only if people join the efforts,” the state’s top medical officer said.
The infection rate in Telangana state is climbing and along with the cases, the number of people needing treatment in hospitals is rising. While 80 per cent of those infected are asymptomatic, around 12 per cent of patients are requiring hospitalisation and this is leading to shortage of beds.
“The state is readying as many as 50,000-plus beds in the next few days in government and private hospitals but more cases will mean more patients who need critical care, providing which may be difficult,” he warned....