Kasturba Hospital, Sevagram sees close to 2500 patients every day but does not have any confirmed patient who has tested positive for coronavirus. Over the last few days, the hospital admitted some patients with pneumonia, but they lacked travel history and had had no contact with corona virus-positive patient. Their samples sent to the regional diagnostic centre at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur, were returned back because the lab felt that they did not fulfil the criteria required for testing them.
On March 14, the hospital administrators and heads of the department met to plan and execute a three-step program to handle the disease the right way:
- A special OPD manned by the specialists from Community Medicine, Medicine and ENT departments. This team of doctors along with social workers shall assess the risk of patients presented with cough, cold, or breathlessness. The patients would be asked the history of their abroad travel in the last fortnight and their close contact with a corona virus positive patient. This traige is built in an open area just outside the main registration OPD building to prevent their mixing with general patients. 150 patients have been examined in this special OPD so far.
- The hospital has created a 5-bed isolation ward for patients with chest symptoms serious enough to need hospitalization.
- The hospital has also designed and equipped a 2-bed ICU for seriously ill corona virus infected patients who require ICU care including mechanical ventilation.
In addition, the hospital has started a campaign to educate people what can they do to protect themselves and others from getting the coronavirus. The hospital has displayed posters that describe do and don’ts, explain hand washing technique, show when and how to wear a mask, clarify why they should keep a social distance and teach what to do if they are sick, when to stay at home and when to see a doctor.
All doctors, nurses, technicians and para-medical workers who are likely to care for patients with suspected or confirmed corona virus infection have been explained the infection prevention and control methods.
Dr SP Kalantri, Medical Superintendent of the hospital said that public awareness, restriction on mass gatherings, constant vigilance and firm belief in science could help fight the virus and win the war. Smartphones are spreading scary rumors and are offering magic cures. These stories are overblown, misleading and often false. The society is full of panic and fear. Doctors must teach them what is real and what is hype.