Television journalist succumbs to Covid-19 in Hyderabad, had critical co-morbid...

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A 33-year-old journalist working for a popular Telugu television news channel in Hyderabad succumbed to Covid-19 on Sunday, doctors at Gandhi Hospital announced. He is the first journalist in Telangana to fall prey to the dreaded coronavirus.

According to Gandhi Hospital Superintendent Dr Raja Rao, the deceased journalist, who had been working as a crime reporter for a Telugu television channel, had undergone tests for Covid-19 in Fever Hospitals earlier this month.

“After he tested positive at Fever Hospital, he was referred to Gandhi Hospital for admission in the early hours of June 4. Immediately, we started treatment, but he developed breathlessness by afternoon on the same day and he was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit,” Rao said.

ALSO READ | Andhra Pradesh sees 130 new Covid-19 cases, state’s tally close to 4000-mark

He said the journalist had already been suffering from Myasthenia Gravis, in which all the muscles including respiratory muscles were weak for which he had been taking treatment with steroids.

“With this co-morbid condition, he contracted Covid-19 and developed bilateral pneumonia with type 1 respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). A team of doctors including physicians, anesthetists and pulmonologists, have given round-the-clock service to him. But, he had a cardiac arrest this morning and could not be revived despite attempts of resuscitation,” he said.

The news came as a great shock to the journalist community in Hyderabad. In the last 10 days, at least a dozen scribes, including four belonging to various national media in Hyderabad, tested positive for Covid-19. Some of them were symptomatic and some others asymptomatic.

For the last two weeks, Telangana has been reporting high incidence of Covid-19 cases, especially in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, both in terms of deaths and positive cases.

On Saturday night, as many as 206 cases and 10 deaths were reported from different parts of Telangana, the highest-ever in a span of 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 123 and the total number of cases in the state to 3,496.

This is the first time that the number of positive cases in a single day has crossed 200 in Telangana. In Greater Hyderabad limits alone, as many as 152 cases were reported, while Ranga Reddy district reported 10 Covid-19 cases and Medchal reported 18. The total cases in GHMC limits alone now stand at 2,096.

The state has opened up commercial activity, through gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions since May 18. Liquor stores were thrown open on May 6. Restaurants, and places of worship and some other sectors will recommence normal activity from Monday as announced by the Centre.

Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr G Srinivas Rao said surveillance teams had observed a surge in cases across the state.

“In view of the surge, the people are requested to be alert and self-vigilant for any signs and symptoms of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). In case of onset of any ILI or SARI symptoms, they are requested to immediately contact the nearest government health facility without delay. Early reporting to the health facility will enable prompt diagnosis and management. Seeking medical care soon after the onset of symptoms is vital to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Covid-19,” Dr Rao said.

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