COVID: 196 healthcare workers at Chandigarh test positive; 39 more NIT Hamirpur students contract the virus

PGIMER has decided to run physical OPDs only through an appointment system from January 10 to prevent exposing patients with comorbidities to COVID-19 infection.
Coronavirus (Photo | AP)
Coronavirus (Photo | AP)

CHANDIGARH: As many as 196 healthcare workers, including 87 doctors of PGIMER here, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection during the 10-day period from December 26 to January 4, the premier institute's officials said on Thursday.

Nearly all of them have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, they said, adding that they have mild symptoms and are in home isolation, while only one is hospitalised.

"From December 26 till January 4, 196 health workers have tested positive for Covid. These include 87 doctors," an official said.

Meanwhile, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has decided to run physical OPDs only through an appointment system from January 10 to prevent exposing patients with comorbidities to COVID-19 infection.

"Around 8,000 patients are presently being attended to daily in various OPDs of PGIMER. This leads to a daily footfall of more than 20,000 individuals in the institute. Recent trends indicate that COVID-19 positivity rate may increase further," a statement issued by the institute said.

Overcrowding carries the risk of outbreaks of COVID-19 amongst patients, attendants and healthcare workers in OPD areas of the institute.

"Hence, it has been decided that tele-consultation will be used as the first point of contact between patients and doctors.

Patients will be evaluated first through tele-consultation and only those requiring further evaluation and examination will be called to OPD by appointment from January 10.

"The primary objective underlying this decision of PGIMER is to prevent exposure of patients with comorbidities to COVD-19 infection. Hence, physical OPDs will only be run through the appointment system with effect from January 10," it said.

It also stated that these protocols will be followed in all OPDs of PGIMER-- New OPD, Advanced Eye Centre, Advanced Cardiac Centre, Advanced Paediatrics Centre, Drug Deaddiction Treatment Centre (DDTC) & Oral Health Sciences Centre (Dental OPD).

The institute has requested the public to come to OPDs with prior appointment only and ensure that only one attendant accompanies a given patient to the OPDs.

"This is absolutely vital to prevent further spread of COVID-19 infection in the community.

"All patients who have already been given appointments for various elective procedures/surgeries are requested to re-confirm the dates with their respective departments/consultants before arriving at the hospital," the statement added.

the Chandigarh Administration Thursday decided to impose night curfew in the Union Territory from Friday and also shut all educational institutions including schools, colleges, universities and coaching classes, officials said.

According to an official order, under the night curfew, movement of individuals for all non-essential activities will remain prohibited between 10 pm to 5 am.

The new curbs come into force with effect from January 7 and will be applicable until further notice, the order said.

However, essential activities including emergency services, medical health, transport of essential goods, operation of multiple shifts in industries, offices etc -- both government and private -- movement of persons and goods on national and state highways and unloading of cargo and travel of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and airplanes will be permitted.

"All educational institutions including schools, colleges, universities, coaching institutions shall remain closed. However, these institutions will maintain the academic schedule through online teaching," said the order issued by the Disaster Management Authority of the Union Territory.

Medical and nursing colleges may continue to function normally in offline mode, said the order.

All government offices in Chandigarh except those related to essential services/departments will function with physical attendance of 50 per cent capacity of actual strength with regard to 'Group C and D" staff, said the order.

The rest of the 50 percent staff would be required to work from home and the concerned head of offices would prepare a roster for their duty, it said.

All private offices will also function with 50 percent staff and rest would be required to work from home.

All bars, cinema halls, multiplexes, malls, restaurants, spas, museums, shall be allowed to operate at 50 percent of their capacity subject to all staff present being fully vaccinated.

Gathering for any purpose should be restricted to 50 persons for indoor and 100 persons for outdoor.

However, the total number of persons shall not exceed 50 percent of the capacity in both indoor and outdoor gatherings.

In Chandigarh's main grain market or Sector 26 sabzi mandi, only rehriwalas or vendors will be allowed with the condition that they are fully vaccinated and no entry for retail customer/general public shall be allowed with effect from January 10, the order said.

Palika bazaar and Sadar Bazaar in Sector 19 here, Patel Market in Sector 15, Shastri Market and mobile market in Sector 22, Krishna Market in Sector 41 and 'Apni Mandis' to close by 5 pm.

Thirty-nine students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) here tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, a district official said.

With this, 81 NIT Hamirpur students have been found infected with the coronavirus in the last two days.

On Wednesday, 42 students of the institute were found COVID-19 positive.

Apart from the 39 NIT students, 23 other people tested positive for COVID-19 in Hamirpur district on Thursday, the official said.

Two students of Sainik School, Sujanpur Tira and three other local students were also found positive, he added.

This has raised the number of active cases to 152 in the district.

He said that in all 489 samples were tested on Thursday and the results of 62 of them came out positive.

The number of total confirmed cases in the district has risen to 18,233 as against 17,772 recoveries, he added.

The results of more sampling will be known on Friday as the results of the RT-PCR sampling were still awaited as it takes much time to get their results.

Meanwhile, the NIT authorities have quarantined the fresh Covid cases on its premises.

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