Bengal tells hospitals to draw SOP blueprint if lockdown is extended
All patients planning to undergo any kind of surgeries in Bengal will now be first tested for Covid-19, the state’s health department said.Updated: Apr 28, 2020, 20:31 IST
With no clear sign that the lockdown will be lifted soon in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday asked hospitals and medical colleges in the state to draw up blueprints to normalize services in a phased manner and cope with the evolving situation.
As a part of the blueprint, all patients planning to undergo any kind of surgeries will now be first tested for Covid-19, a top official of the state health department said.
“While there is lack of clarity on when and how the lockdown will be lifted, it is certain that we will have to normalize hospital services in a phased manner, commensurate with the evolving situation. In view of the above, all principals, medical superintendents cum vice principals (MSVPs) of government medical colleges and hospitals, CMOHs and superintendents of government hospitals are hereby advised to draw up a blue print for the normalisation of hospital services,” said an order issued by the state health department.
The lockdown is scheduled to end on May 3.
The flow of patients in the state-run hospitals and medical colleges has dwindled drastically during the lockdown and because of the increased flow of Covid-19 patients.
At the Infectious Diseases hospital in Kolkata, the first hospital in south Bengal which started treating Covid-19 patients during the initial stages, the number of cases with serious dog bites (category II and III) has dropped from around 150 per day before the lockdown to around 10 to 15 at present.
“Earlier on an average we used to get around 5,000 patients at the OPD every day. Now we are getting around 600. Before lockdown at least 1,500–2,000 patients used to stay in the hospital. Now there are only around 250 patients,” said Indranil Biswas, medical superintendent and vice principal of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, after attending the video conference of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, had hinted that the Union government could extend the lockdown.
“As a part of the blueprint, all patients coming for surgeries will now have to undergo Covid-19 tests. If it is a planned surgery and the patient tests positive, the surgery will be delayed. In case of emergency the surgery will have to be done with full protection gear following all protocols,” said a senior official of the state health department.
This becomes all the more important because already two senior doctors have died while scores of frontline health care workers have either been detected with the virus or have been asked to go into quarantine after coming in contact with Covid-19 patients.
“This is a welcome move, because we need to test even asymptomatic patients. Many health care workers have been detected with the virus or have been quarantined. The state has not released any figures,” said Dr S Mukherjee, a member of Joint Platform of Doctors in West Bengal.
Bengal reported 28 new cases on Tuesday to take the total number of infections to 697. A total of 119 people have recovered while 22 have died so far. Authorities in Bengal have so far tested 13,223 people for Covid-19.