Coronavirus Outbreak: All Hospitals Asked To Set Aside Beds; Private Hospitals Also Get Battle Ready

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, the central government ssued an advisory on Friday to all hospitals and medical education institutions — both public and private — asking them to set aside beds, prepare isolation facilities, procure sufficient numbers of ventilators, high-flow oxygen mass and mobilise additional manpower to step up combat readiness to take on Covid-19.

Many private hospitals have not been allowed to comment on their preparedness, impact on health services or any other issues related to coronavirus. So, we visited the private hospitals like Manipal Hospital, BLK, Sir Ganga Ram, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Dharamshila Narayana, and many more to see how well equipped they are.

Private hospitals in Delhi have started screening all persons entering the hospitals and registering their names on list for high body temperatures with Infra-Red Hand Held devices.

Super Speciality Hospitals have also constituted a multi-disciplinary response team.

To safeguard the patients from respiratory illnesses during this period of increased viral illness, these hospitals have restricted the visitors. Only one identified attendant is allowed with a patient in several big hospitals.

Many private hospitals have also instructed people to use the alcohol hand rub before entering the hospitals and on leaving as well. Sanitizers are available at the entry and exit points.

Dr. S. Chatterjee, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi said, ““preparedness was already there before the Government decided the Private Hospitals to open up. Because the Government already has given the instruction to be prepared, the preparation has been going on from couple of days anyway. The Government gave the nod and Government feels the need, that the Private Hospitals should be involved, then we are already prepared. Actually, the Government had given all these instruction for a few days back. And Yes we are well Equipped and we have sanitizers available on entry and exit everywhere, we are doing a screening of people in entry.””

Amid rising coronavirus cases in India, the Union Health ministry has asked hospitals and medical education institutes to procure sufficient number of ventilators and high flow oxygen masks and advised them to decrease gatherings on their respective premises. Stating that the medical infrastructure in the country needs to be prepared for any possible influx of patients, the ministry issued an advisory outlining intervention for indoor facilities, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities and administrative issues.

According to the advisory, non-essential elective surgeries should be postponed. The advisory said some beds should be kept apart for creating isolation facilities in public and private hospital and ensuring that stable patients are discharged as early as possible while adding that further new admissions (of stable patients) are also restricted.

“Hospitals must procure sufficient numbers of ventilators and high flow oxygen masks in preparation for future requirements. “All hospitals must ensure that they have adequate trained manpower and resource pools for ventilator/ ICU care,” the advisory stated.

It also asked all hospitals to provide free treatment to medical personnel who pick up infection while treating patients and said no suspected COVID-19 patient should be turned away from any hospital and the admission of any such patient should be notified to National Centre for Disease Conrtol (NCDC) or Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) immediately.

As far as OPD is concerned, the ministry of health has asked hospitals to advise patients not to come for routine visits if it can be avoided or postponed. It also said patients suffering from chronic diseases and minor elements be advised to utilise OPDs in primary/ secondary care facilities rather than crowding tertiary care centres.

The advisory further stated that patients must be educated about cough etiquette, ‘Dos and Don’ts’, proper use of masks instead of using them indiscriminately and inefficiently and personal hygiene. “Patients must be counselled against attaching any kind of stigma to coronavirus patients or to facilities where such patients are admitted. They must be made aware that quick disclosure of symptoms and undergoing testing if advised is the surest way of battling COVID 19,” it said.


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