THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Covid-19 cases increasing and the threat of community spread looming large, the state government has initiated a plan to convert tertiary care hospitals into dedicated Covid Hospitals (CH). Such hospitals, including private ones having critical care facilities, will be used for admission and treatment of severe or critical patients. Once a hospital gets designated as a CH, it will have to postpone elective surgeries and reduce general OP.
Also, super speciality and emergency wings of the departments concerned should function and ensure that there is no contact or mixing of Covid-19 and general patients. A final draft of the preparedness plan formulated by the state health department is now awaiting the government’s approval. “The state has a three-pronged strategy for Covid-19 patient management. The first is Covid Care Centres for isolation and management of asymptomatic cases. The second is Covid First-Line Treatment Centres for treating mild and moderate symptomatic persons under surveillance.
The third is the CH,” said an officer of the health department. Health department sources said a patient will b e admitted to a healthcare centre based on severity. Category A patients will be sent to Covid First-Line Treatment Centres, Category B ones will be admitted to district Covid hospitals or private Covid hospitals. Category C will be in MCH Covid Hospital and private Covid hospitals.
“A CH centre will have to identify all areas that can be converted into ICUs if a large influx of critical cases occurs. The hospitals will have to prepare a list of the strength of doctors, PGs, house surgeons, nursing staff and paramedical staff. Then they will have to be categorised as the groups in action, in quarantine and in reserve. The workforce can be utilised on a rotation basis,” added the officer.
Management of general patients
Once a tertiary healthcare centre starts functioning as CH, management of general patients will be in crisis. To avoid this, an action-plan has been prepared. Other than emergencies, the general OP and IP wings will be shifted to general hospitals which will be linked to taluk hospitals, community health centres, family health centres and public health centres. They shall cater to the general population with ailments other than SARS-CoV-2 infection. In districts without medical colleges, tertiary care facilities will be provided by district hospitals. If they are converted as Covid hospital, the specialities and super specialities will function in the general hospital.