Admission of COVID-19 patients in Puducherry's IGMCRI stopped, Opposition leader concerned
MBBS students of IGMCRI, who missed out on practical training involving non-COVID patients for more than a year since the hospital catered to only COVID patients, will now get an opportunity again
PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry health department has stopped the admission of COVID-19 patients in the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (IGMC&RI) in order to facilitate medical education in the medical college.
On the directions of the Chief Minister N Rangasamy, COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation are being admitted in Government Hospital for Chest Diseases (GHCD), Gorimedu and in JIPMER, Dr G Sriramulu, Director of Health and Family Welfare told The New Indian Express. While COVID-infected pregnant women, children and sick COVID patients requiring ventilators will be admitted in JIPMER, other patients will be admitted in GCDH, said Dr Sriramulu. JIPMER has consented to receive all antenatal COVID patients, pediatric COVID patients and sick COVID patients requiring ventilators, he said.
COVID treatment infrastructure has been created in GHCD with the establishment of 160 oxygen beds. The beds can be raised to 180 if necessary, said Dr Sriramulu. Besides, Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen generators of 100 LPM have been installed after procuring them under the PM-care fund. Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) plants of 6 to 11 KL are also being procured for the hospital, he said, adding that the health department is upgrading the infrastructure in the hospital.
At present, the cases have come down and among them very few cases require oxygen support or ventilator, said Dr Sriramulu. Those who are admitted in GHCD will be monitored and if they require specialised care, they will be referred to JIPMER, he said.
Since August 17, COVID-19 patients admitted in IGMC&RI have been shifted out to GHCD and JIPMER. As on Friday, out of 103 hospitalised COVID-19 patients, 63 are in JIPMER, 22 in GHCD and 18 in COVID care centres.
Meanwhile, MBBS students of IGMC&RI have missed out on practical training involving non-COVID patients for more than a year, since the hospital catered to only COVID patients. They will now get an opportunity once again. The hospital will be sanitised and OPD services will be resumed next week, said Dr C Udayshankar, Director of IGMC&RI. After the inpatient wards are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, the hospital will start admitting inpatients, he said. The medical college is catering to around 1000 students including interns and new admissions in the current academic year.
Opposition leader's concern
However this decision of the government has come in for sharp criticism from Leader of Opposition R Siva. He maintained that with the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 looming large, the government should continue the IGMC&RI as a COVID hospital till Puducherry becomes COVID-free or 100% of the population is vaccinated against it. IGMC&RI is fully equipped with infrastructure and facilities for treatment, unlike GHCD, where the facilities are lacking, he said. IGMC&RI is also spacious and the spread of infection in the campus is minimal.
At present, only 60 percent of the people have got a single shot of the vaccine and residents of Puducherry are still vulnerable with around 100 cases per day. Hence the government should withdraw the order and continue IGMC&RI as a COVID hospital, said Siva.