The State government is set to launch a massive initiative for early detection and treatment of Covid-19 patients by conducting fever surveys and running special outpatient (OP) services across Telangana from Thursday.

As part of these efforts, exclusive Covid outpatient (OP) services to identify individuals with Covid symptoms will be conducted in all government hospitals in the State. To ensure wider coverage of the initiative, the government has also requested private hospitals to organise OP facilities.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on Wednesday said the intention of expanding the fever surveys and holding special OPs is to identify Covid patients at a very early stage and immediately start the treatment process. The move is aimed at ensuring timely treatment, which will reduce disease progression, hospitalisation and check the rising demand for ventilators and hospital beds that are equipped with medical oxygen.

During the fever survey, to be taken up by field-level workers across the State, irrespective of whether individuals have undergone RT-PCR or rapid antigen test, if they have Covid symptoms, they will be provided with a Covid kit, comprising medicines for 10 days. Their progress will be monitored through telemedicine facilities.

“By conducting Covid OP facilities and fever surveys, we can identify symptomatic cases at the earliest. This will ensure early treatment and reduce Covid deaths. I am sure that if this twin strategy is implemented properly across the State, then the results will start showing in a week,” Somesh Kumar said.

The State government also appointed three senior IAS officers to monitor and regulate the usage of medical oxygen at all government and private hospitals. “To avoid situations where hospitals are running out of medical oxygen in hours, we are conducting an oxygen audit on the usage of oxygen at all private and government hospitals. 

The audits will be conducted on a daily basis, and the hospitals have been given strict instructions to update their oxygen status hourly. A senior IAS officer will also monitor the usage of oxygen in healthcare facilities in all the districts,” he said.

Going by the rate of admission at private and government hospitals, the health officials have said they may require 600 metric tonnes (MT) of medical oxygen for Covid positive patients in the State. While the Centre has allotted 430 MT of oxygen, the State has an internal capacity of producing 125 MT on a daily basis. Senior health officials have said at present, Telangana has a buffer of 10 days of medical oxygen.

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