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Coronavirus threat: 14-bed isolation ward at civic Hindu Rao Hospital

By Baishali Adak, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2020 11:43 PM IST

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has set up a 14-bed isolation ward at the Hindu Rao Hospital for patients suspected to be infected with coronavirus.

This ward is located in a remote corner of the 14.3 acre hospital. It previously served as the Swine Flu isolation ward.

“All required logistics have been provided here. At least 3,000 N-95 masks and 3,000 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits (for the medical staff) along with ventilators are available in the hospital. Sensitisation and training programme has also been conducted for the staff of Kasturba Hospital (near Jama Masjid),” said north body commissioner Varsha Joshi.

A core group has been formed under the medical superintendents of Kasturba and Hindu Rao hospitals which meets regularly to review the situation; and while no suspected case has been found so far, any case will be referred to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, officials said.

“The chief medical officer (CMO) and all six district health officers have been nominated as nodal officers and given a responsibility to keep coordinating with the state and central government regarding prevention and control of the coronavirus disease,” she said. Besides, daily reports regarding foreign visitors is being obtained from hotels and guest houses and hundreds of posters pasted in all north body offices for general public awareness.

Hindu Rao is the north corporation’s biggest hospital and caters to over 5,000 patients daily from Delhi and neighbouring states, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) also informed the Delhi Government and union minister for health and family welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, in a meeting on Wednesday that it is creating separate OPD counters at its Swami Dayanand and Veer Savarkar hospitals “for flu-affected patients and maintain a separate waiting area for them.” These hospitals are located in Dilshad Garden and Karawal Nagar respectively.

Precautions in municipal schools and public toilets

The Delhi municipalities are also creating safeguards at its public toilets, which are used by thousands daily and could become a breeding ground for coronavirus if sanitary conditions are not maintained.

“We are directing all our public toilet concessionaires to ensure proper hand washing facilities,” said north body commissioner, Varsha Joshi. These include maintaining supplies like soaps and hand sanitizers. The north corporation has 299 community toilets and 151 public toilets.

The civic bodies are also taking precautions at their schools, where lakhs of students study. “We have told our school principals to avoid holding the morning prayer assemblies or big gatherings of students for any other purpose for the time being. Besides, the sanitary staff there has been instructed to mop the floors with detergent or Sodium Hypochlorite 1% and clean the door knobs and frequently touched surfaces like railing, furniture, telephone, etc.,” Arun Kumar, spokesperson, EDMC, said.

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