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The southern states of India are showing stability in the wake of the Covidian catastrophe


Doctors in the southern Indian city of Velore in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have prepared for the worst when Covid-19 was sweeping the country.

He already had the coronavirus beaten and burdened Health systems throughout the Indian subcontinent were directed south.

Jacob John On, a physician at the city’s Christian Medical College, said his hospital was nearing a “breaking point.” His 900-odd beds were full, the hospital had to evacuate patients, and it was unstable to deplete its oxygen supply.

But when India’s catastrophic second wave hit Tamil Nadu and other southern states, places like Vellore were able to withstand the worst of its fury.

The fact that they did so was largely due to the legacy of investing in primary, public health care, one of India’s richest and most developed states. In many other parts of India, experts say, the crisis has exposed the chronic neglect of healthcare.

Tamil Nadu reports more infections than any other state, 22,000 cases per day – almost 500 deaths, while 900,000 active cases in the five southern states of India make up half of the country’s current total.

“It is a difficult situation. “ICU beds are not enough for us. There are still patients we can not accommodate,” said John On. “I do not say we are perfect. “But when the dust finally falls, I’m sure these investments would save lives.”

Before the second wave hit south, it sank health systems in many other parts of the country, including New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Patients died from lack of oxygen, and crematoria were so overcrowded that bodies were dumped into rivers.

The southern states have felt their share of the tragedy, but experts say they are more resilient.

“Because you have a fairly well-developed health infrastructure, the horror stories were not as shocking as in other states,” said Ratan Alan Alan, founder and former CEO of Medium Health Consulting. “There is that protection that is coming into force.”

The southern states of India make up about 250 million people with a population of almost 1.4 billion.

In particular, Kerala և Tamil Nadu stand out in the field of health, taking into account infant mortality rates. Along with Karnataka, they boast more hospital beds and medical colleges. The southern states of India topped the list of countries due to the sustainable development released last week by the UN և Government Analytical Center.

“People do not have to sing the same song to get a hospital bed in Tamil Nadu as before. [some other parts of India]Says Leslie Branagan, an anthropologist who has studied Indian healthcare. “That spirit of justice has remained there for decades.”

Bed diagram per 1000 inhabitants showing hospital beds by population

While states like Maharashtra in the West have also been praised for their response, no one has more praised than Kerala, which first discovered the Covid-19 case in India last year.

The early suppression of the first wave was so effective that in May 2020, the number of registered cases was reduced to zero within a few days. Last month, the number rose to more than 40,000 a day, but has since halved. The number of daily deaths has reached almost 200.

Experts say Kerala and Tamil Nadu have tackled the crisis by relying on their networks of primary care providers to help patients find treatment. They also set up “war rooms” to distribute oxygen-like resources to prevent catastrophic shortages.

The higher workload in the United States was also a reflection of better testing, which experts say underscores greater transparency. They noted that the count of “infections” and “deaths” was widespread, and that in some parts of the south, including Telangana, the response was lacking in clarity.

Last month, the southern states, such as the one in the Carnatan blockade, fell.

Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka ը The technology hub of India, has more cases than any other major city.

Top 10 Medical Colleges Chart by State, which shows Southern states, has a disproportionate number of medical colleges

When the Apollo Hospital opened its 30-bed Covid Hospital in late April, it was 90 minutes full, says Critical Care Director Ravi Mehta.

It expanded to more than 100 beds, all of which were occupied, and last month there was a shortage of oxygen for three hours. The note has weakened, Mehta said, but the hospital’s intensive care unit remains full, and he is now dealing with patients with severe complications such as black mold infections

“It simply came to our notice then [went] “Crazy,” he said. “Now we have to take the pieces and take care of those who are still struggling.”

The obvious successes of the South, however, hide deep inequalities within the region, with poorer settlements using fewer services. At least two dozen The patients died last month when oxygen was depleted in one of the rural hospitals in Karnataka. In Goa, a southern tourist hub a number of patients died of hypoxia.

Ruben Abraham, chief executive of the IDFC Institute Research Center, said that Tamil Nadu և Kerala had waited too long to enter the blockade, which disrupted their response.

“Everything will depend on the peak load [that a system can withstand]”No matter how good your health care system is, I’m not interested in whether it ‘s Switzerland, Kerala or the United States. Beyond that peak, the system will collapse.”

Andra Pradesh’s doctor, former senior civil servant P.V. Ramesh says the crisis should prompt nationwide reflections on health failures across the country.

“This is seen as an oxygen supply crisis, not a fundamental management crisis,” he said. “When the tide goes down. “Everyone will return to work as usual, they will not learn any lessons.”

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