Hospitals turn Covid hotspots, experts advise caution

People urged to avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals and utilise telemedicine facility as much as possible to avoid spread 

Published: 24th April 2021 06:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2021 06:25 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: Worsening Kerala’s ongoing Covid woes, hospital infections are reportedly on the rise in state. Patients, visitors, relatives and bystanders are getting infected with the virus in hospitals across state. In the wake of Covid scenario worsening, experts have urged people to avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals and utilise telemedicine facility as much as possible. 

Around 15 people, including bystanders, contracted Covid in the past week at a major hospital in Ernakulam. “Among them, most are bystanders and relatives who came to visit the patient at the hospital. The patient was admitted with symptoms of fatigue and fever, but later RT-PCR tests revealed that he was Covid positive. By then, even with restrictions in place, relatives got infected,” said a doctor with the hospital. 

Incidents of hospital infections are getting more and more common in various parts of the country. Some such incidents have occurred in Kerala, too. “Almost all  hospitals in the state treat Covid patients and therefore people coming to hospitals should take extra precaution. Though most of the health workers attending to patients are vaccinated, there are many falling prey to the virus nowadays. People should refrain from going to hospitals for minor consultations. Along with sanitising, people going to hospitals should practice double masking and wear N-95 or surgical masks, rather than cotton masks, at this stage,” said Dr Monu Varghese, pulmonologist based in Kochi. 

The state government, as well as doctors, are urging people to utilise tele-medicine facility effectively, rather than going to hospitals for re-visits and OP consultations. Considering Covid-19 spread, government hospitals have strengthened restrictions and now allow only one bystander. 

“Hospitals being hotspots for spreading infections, we urge people to utilise tele-consultation facility for medical advice. Instructions have been given to all government hospitals to postpone elective surgeries and allow only one bystander with the patients at the hospitals. All hospitals, including those in private sector, should take necessary steps to see that no crowding takes place at hospitals,” said a health official. 

However, there are also instances of spread of infections even resulting in death, widely in the country, due to lacunae in medical and essential kits being used at hospitals. “Though the situation of Kerala is much better compared to other states, the Covid situation should not be an excuse to lose focus on quality as regards medical supplies. There are some hospitals even in our state, which are compromising on the quality of the equipment and PPE for the staff. This might increase chances of infection,” said James George, managing director of Careon Healthcare Solutions, that has been manufacturing medical disposables for around 30 years.


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