Mitigating overcrowding of COVID Hospital

The above table shows the availability of beds in designated COVID-Hospital in each district. To augment the health facilities, several COVID Care Centres have been established in the State to take care of patients.
The above table shows the availability of beds in designated COVID-Hospital in each district. To augment the health facilities, several COVID Care Centres have been established in the State to take care of patients.

Front-liner pitches for more CCCs

Imkong Walling
Dimapur | August 3

The Nagaland state government has so far projected a confident front, allaying apprehension as far as COVID-19 is concerned. As per the governmental narrative, the required essentials appear to be in place and steady. 

But with cases surging and 4 recorded deaths, there is growing concern, especially in Dimapur. The concern, as pointed out by medical front-liners here, is over the intake capacity of the designated COVID-19 Hospital, which is functioning from a half-done District Hospital project. 

Against a total of 78 beds for COVID-19 patients (excluding 6 ICU beds), as on August 1, the Hospital had 71 positive cases admitted. Out of these, one was classified as ‘mild’ and another in ICU. 

According to the front-liners, if recovery rate do not catch up with the spiraling cases, the COVID-19 Hospital will run out of bed soon. As stated by one doctor, if the annex detox centre is to be counted, a comfortable number would be 70-80 patients at a time. 

It is originally a 100-bed hospital but the circumstance do not allow for admitting as many patients. On top of that, the main Hospital structure has been in a perpetual state of construction. 

“It is not a livestock farm. It would be depressing for the patients if we jam pack it,” said another, on condition of anonymity. 

There were 10 cabins designated as ‘Isolation Wards’ but, according to him, it has transformed into (sample) collection centre and thus, cannot be counted as wards for suspect patients. 

“We also have to consider the space required for the doctors and nurses and other support staff.” 

Further, Assam Rifles Hospital at Shoxuvi and the Army Hospital at Rangapahar have practically become exclusive facilities for the military following the surge in positive cases among military personnel. 

At this stage, the doctor admitted that it would be difficult to come up with another dedicated COVID Hospital. However, he added that the problem of space/bed can be mitigated. 

More CCCs
The doctor said that the majority of the positive cases are asymptomatic, which implies that fresh asymptomatic cases can be admitted to COVID Care Centres (CCC) as the initial isolation point. 

Currently, CCCs serve as an observation centre following hospital stay. After confirming 'negative', he said that they are send to the Tourist Lodge for further post-discharge observation. According to him, “Instead of admitting all fresh positive cases to the COVID Hospital, the asymptomatic should be segregated and kept in a special facility and admitted to the hospital only if symptoms are displayed.” 

He added, “I feel that this can be applied to avoid overloading and overcrowding in the main COVID Hospital. For this, we need additional COVID Care Centres.”

The district has 2 CCCs at present— one at Chumoükedima and another at Khushiabill. The former, which was said to be almost full, has a capacity tipped at 93 beds, while the latter’s capacity could not be ascertained. 

Home-stay for asymptomatic
The doctor further posed the possibility of giving the choice of ‘Home Isolation’ for those, who have the amenity to self-isolate. He said, “For fresh asymptomatic patients, with separate rooms and attached bathroom/toilet at home, option should be given to self-isolate.” However, he added that it should be allowed on the condition that the patient is willing and agrees to abide by the Standard Operating Procedure and prevention protocol, while having his health monitored by a health care provider. 

“The health care providers must talk to the patient atleast twice daily inquiring about his health and how he is coping,” he said.