Odisha govt tells officials not to rush Covid cases to Bhubaneswar
With 4613 active cases in Bhubaneswar and 2213 cases in Cuttack city till Monday, the twin cities have now become Covid hotspots while the hospitals in the two cities are struggling to admit new patients.Updated: Sep 15, 2020 10:55 IST
With Covid hospitals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack groaning under growing cases, the Odisha government has asked districts to not rush their Covid patients to hospitals in these cities.
“The Covid hospitals of Bhubaneswar are being used by all other districts as referral hospitals. The facility available in the cluster district will be exhausted first before deciding to shift it to Bhubaneswar. The medical officer of the district will inform the medical officer of the Covid hospitals of Bhubaneswar and obtain confirmation about the availability of the requisite facility needed before sending the patient to Bhubaneswar,” development commissioner Suresh Mohapatra noted in a letter to senior officials in charge of Covid management in the state.
Mohapatra, who last week chaired a meeting of top health officials to analyse the situation, told the officials that the available Covid-care facilities at district level must be utilised to the fullest extent before referring the patient to the Covid hospitals of Bhubaneswar.
With 4613 active cases in Bhubaneswar and 2213 cases in Cuttack city till Monday, the twin cities have now become Covid hotspots while the hospitals in the two cities are struggling to admit new patients. With just six ICU beds left in Covid hospitals of Bhubaneswar, it remains a challenge.
What has made the Covid situation in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack difficult is the rush of patients to the Covid hospitals there from other hotspot districts such as Puri, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Kendrapara and Jajpur due to perceived better care and management.
In Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, just about 20 per cent of the beds are occupied by patients from both the cities while the rest have been taken over by people from other districts.
Mohapatra has now instructed the officials that Covid hospitals should only be for moderately severe symptomatic patients and those who are asymptomatic and very mild to mild symptomatic cases should be in home isolation.
“The facility of home isolation needs to be promoted further and asymptomatic and very mild to mild symptomatic cases should invariably be allowed for home isolation. The Covid hospitals should only house moderate to severe symptomatic cases,” the letter from Mohapatra said.
To lessen the Covid load on the capital city, the government asked KIMS hospital that has set up Covid hospitals at Bolangir, Mayurbhanj and Kandhamal districts to make functional lCUs available.
The government has also asked the Covid hospitals in Bhubaneswar to convert some of the general beds to high dependency unit (HDU) beds for shifting stable patients from ICU to HDU thus increasing availability of ICU beds for deserving critical patients.
The government has also decided on a new discharge protocol under which a Covid patient would be clinically discharged after 10 days from the date of sample collection provided he has no symptoms for the last three days. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has been asked to prepare the list of such patients on 9th day district wise and post the same in the Collectors’ WhatsApp group. The respective district collectors would have to pick those cured cases on the 10th day from the respective Covid Hospitals of Bhubaneswar.
To deal with allegations of negligence of doctors and paramedics in treatment of Covid patients, the government also asked the authorities at Covid hospitals to install CCTVs in their ICU and general wards for close monitoring of doctors and paramedics. It also asked the laboratories doing RT-PCR tests to mention the CT (Cycle Threshold) value in each of the positive samples so that the viral load in each case can be tested. As the CT value determines the viral load of the positive cases, those patients with lower CT value (meaning higher viral load) can be prioritised for admission in Covid hospitals.
Meanwhile, health secretary PK Mohapatra, asked all district collectors and Municipal Commissioners to shut down the temporary medical centres, Covid care homes and Covid care centres in the districts where the occupancy has dramatically fallen. The state government also asked all private hospitals in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Rourkela Municipal to keep a minimum 50% of their general beds and 80% of ICUs for treatment of Covid positive patients.