Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SRGH) has been struggling to treat patients with symptoms of coronavirus ever since the Delhi Government ordered them to stop testing for COVID-19. The order was received on June 3. It stated that the hospital allegedly flouting the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines for testing COVID-19 patients. “RT PCR sampling for Covid-19 suspect/ confirmed cases should be stopped with immediate effect,” the notice read.
At the same time, the Delhi government asked the SRGH to reserve 80 per cent of 675 beds for the treatment of coronavirus patients, reports The Indian Express. Doctors of the hospital feel the two decisions are in contrast with each other as they are not only creating a problem for the staff but patients as well.
Dr Shyam Aggarwal, medical oncologist and bone marrow transplant specialist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told the newspaper that the patients who are supposed to be administered chemotherapy once in a week or two should be tested for COVID-19 because chemotherapy on such person can be disastrous. These patients are clueless.
“They are now calling to ask where they should get tested. Not many labs in Delhi are doing the test these days. We have checked with six-seven labs; now what do I do with my treatment? We have told them that if the test is not done, it (chemotherapy) can be harmful for them.”
Before the order came, the hospital was performing around 15-170 tests every day. After the hospital was asked to stop it, around 30-40 surgeries which were being done on a regular basis have been stopped.
Earlier on Thursday, the hospital got itself in a catch-22 situation when a 12-year-old boy from Bhind near Gwalior with altered consciousness, breathlessness, high-grade fever, and uncontrolled diabetes was admitted.
As the hospital cannot conduct the COVID-19 test, and no time to wait for the test report, doctors started treating the boy assuming he had the virus. A separate space was created for the boy as neither he can be treated with the regular patients as others will have the chance of getting infected nor with COVID-19 patients as he can catch the infection if he is already not positive for it. Luckily the patient is stable.