KOHIMA, MAY 17: Prompted by the continuous surge in COVID-19 infections, the State Health Department is currently giving special emphasis on the management of COVID-19 patients at Kohima and Dimapur, as these two districts have been reporting rapid surges in the past weeks.
Interacting with media persons at his chamber in the Directorate of Health & Family Welfare here today, Principal Director Dr Neikhrielie Khimiao said that taking into cognizance the surging cases in the State capital, the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) will be converted totally into ‘COVID-19 Hospital’ from tomorrow.
He said like last year, all the private hospitals have been requested to assist in the management of general patients, be it medical or surgical related.
All health facilities, both private and Government, in and around Kohima, should be able to cater to the medical requirements of the general public, he said.
On reported shortage of beds, he said the cases have been increasing but as of now there is no shortage of beds.
“As of now, all the private hospitals are willing to extend their service to the public and the Government is extending help to them in terms of supplying oxygen and concentrators,” he said.
“Dimapur district is presently able to manage the given situation comfortably, but if the need arises we are totally prepared to go ahead with the creation of makeshift hospitals,” he said.
Dr Khimiao also said that like Kohima, all the medical facilities in the districts have been requested to give medical care services in all the respective PHCs, CHCs and Sub-Centres.
Asked about the high cost of treatment in private hospitals, he said the Government will have to come out with clear cut instructions, like it did in the previous year of the pandemic. He cited that in the past COVID-19 period, the Government had issued orders to use the Ayushman Bharat Scheme and had also given reimbursement facilities.
On being pointed out that not everybody has the Ayushman Bharat facility, he said in times of health crisis certain measures have to be taken to support the poor section of the society.
3rd wave of COVID-19
On the 3rd wave of COVID-19, he quoted WHO declaration that “vaccination is the best weapon we have with us, so we have to vaccinate to the fullest extent possible to check the spread of COVID-19”. But over and above that the public should strictly adhere to the SOP on COVID appropriate behaviour like wearing of mask, social distancing and hand-wash or sanitization, he added.
On reports doing the rounds that for the past few weeks every death of patient in hospitals are being declared as COVID-19 deaths, he said “it cannot be true because a patient’s demise cannot be termed as COVID-19 death unless a complete overview of the patient’s demise is considered”.
Shortage of doctors
On shortage of doctors, especially at Aghunato hospital, he said that it is a fact that in the recent transfers and postings effected, some of doctors from the districts have been transferred without replacement. But the Department has already worked out the modalities to address the problem of doctors’ shortage immediately, he asserted, adding that the newly recruited doctors have been earmarked to fill the vacancies that have been arising in all the districts.
On the total budgetary requirement for management of COVID-19 in the State, he said the reports of urgent requirements of all the districts are being collected.
Asked whether the Department would recommend extension of the ongoing state-wide lockdown, Dr Khimiao responded that the extension of the lockdown is the prerogative of the COVID-19 War Room headed by the Chief Secretary.
Nonetheless, he asserted that the Department is trying its best to treat the cases and avoid further spread of the virus by employing all the available staff wherever possible.
Random sample collection
On random collection of samples for COVID-19 test, he said the available BSL and TrueNat tests are comparatively of slower pace, but at the present magnitude of the virus spreading, Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is the best weapon, he said.
As of today, the Department has distributed 8000 RAT kits, while modalities are being worked out to distribute the 15,000 RAT kits received from the Government of India on Sunday, he said.
He also informed that the Department has projected a requirement of 15,000 RAT kits and response from the GoI is awaited, he said. (Page News Service)