Meghalaya: Concentrate on recoveries too says Dr Aman Warr

“So the message now is that there is hope, at the same time people are getting the infection and at the same time, there is healing,” he said.

Director of North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), P. Bhattacharya said that there are 57 COVID patients who are admitted in the hospital out of which nearly 17 to 18 patients are on a ventilator. 

Speaking to reporters after accompanying Health Minister A.L. Hek on Wednesday when the latter reviewed the medical situation in the hospital.

He said that after a cardiac surgery, a patient was found infected with COVID post-operative and the Cardiac Surgery ICU is now a containment zone.

Stating that the major challenge in NEIGRIHMS is that the Hospital is running both COVID and non-COVID treatment, he said that the Hospital is facing a shortage of staff and has utilised the services of those working in the laboratory and administration section.

He added that the human resources comprising doctors, nurses, ward boys is split down the line and said that the services are continuing but the number of staff is very less.

“These are challenges for which we have been preparing last time. We trained other doctors and nurses from other parts of the Hospital even pre-clinical, para-clinical, even laboratory services were trained in managing COVID ICU patients,” he said.

The Director said that the Hospital is taking staff from the administrative section, final year students, interns to ensure that attendants of COVID patients are not sent to other patients.

“The challenges in providing expanded ICU care lies not in the equipment. We have the equipment and we have over 70 to 77 ventilators and will get some more,” he said.

Stressing on human kindness and human bond helpful to one another at such a time, he said, "The challenges lie in human resources, trained human resources and this is true the world over."

Asked, he said that there is no shortage of oxygen and said that the Hospital has oxygen concentrator to fill the tanks.

"Our liquid oxygen tank capacity is adequate for now. We have an oxygen concentrator through which we are filling up tanks also," he said.

Asked, he said that the government will extend the services to the best of their ability and said that there is no special ICU and there are 25 patients in the original ICU. 

Echoing Dr Bhattacharya, Hek added that there is no difference between VIP and the ordinary patient and all will be treated equally. 

Manageable: Health Minister Hek 

Hek said that the situation in NEIGRIHMS is manageable even as he urged the Hospital authorities to not deny treatment to non-COVID patients such as cancer patients and those in need of dialysis.

“We are happy with their preparedness. We have seen that they have kept the isolation ward, waiting ward, and ICU ward separately. They also said that there is no problem with the oxygen, beds, ventilators and everything will be manageable,” he said.

With the Hospital’s concern on as for shortage of manpower, Hek said that the Hospital has to get an order from the Government of India regarding human resources. 

Concentrate on recoveries: Warr

Meanwhile, DHS Director (MI) Aman Warr said that the virus is affecting all age groups although the pediatric cases are still out.

“Maybe it is the change of the virus. There is a mutant out here. Maybe it is there, I’m not saying it but the only thing is that the virulence of the virus is high and that is why many are getting positive,” he said.

Warr said that the people are concentrating only on the number of recent cases while the number of recoveries is ignored.

“So the message now is that there is hope, at the same time people are getting the infection and at the same time, there is healing,” he said.

He said that people can fight COVID by following protocols such as self-lockdown. 

“With the lockdown in place and self-lockdown, next week there will be a dip if we follow. If we don’t follow there will be a surge again,” he said.

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

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