COVID Hospital Dimapur unprepared

COVID Hospital Dimapur unprepared
Renovation work at COVID hospital Dimapur on April 7. (NP File)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, APR 13 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/13/2020 1:27:18 PM IST

Doctors decry ‘inferior quality’ of protective gears

After the rude awakening on April 13, when news of the first COVID-19 case from Nagaland spread like wildfire, District Hospital Dimapur, recently designated as COVID-19 Hospital, is not ready to admit any COVID patient since major renovation works have been slowed down due to unavailability of funds and worse, doctors are up in arms against inferior quality of PPE supplied.

It may be recalled, that Nagaland Post in a recent report, had exposed the problems in converting the deplorable condition of the Hospital into a 100-bedded COVID District Hospital. 

Since the renovations were done as per verbal directives of state chief minister Neiphiu Rio when he visited the hospital on April 3, the doctor said they (doctors) have become like “thikadars” (contractors). He said doctors have to monitor and supervise works on a daily basis in addition to performing COVID duty.

A senior doctor of the hospital, disclosed to Nagaland Post, that despite plans to have at least one ward ready to admit four to five COVID patients, the hospital is not in a position even to admit a single patient. He said the hospital would be in a position to admit patients at least five patients, if labourers who come from Assam are able to complete a small ward (five beds) by April 14. Though District Hospital Dimapur has around 14 cabins including “VIP cabins”, these did not meet the requirement/criteria for COVID-19 patients because of their dilapidated state. 

Inferior quality PPE 

Another doctor, speaking to Nagaland Post alleged that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) procured and distributed to the COVID-19 Hospital were “incomplete set” and of “inferior quality”.

The doctor also alleged that masks/respirators supplied for the caregivers at the COVID-19 Hospital Dimapur were of FFP1 grade and not the recommended FFP3 or N95 grades.

 The doctor informed that the recommended items were FFP3 mask capable of filtering 98% and N95 capable of filtering 95%. However, he said filtration of FFP1 is only 80% and not recommended for attending to COVID-19 patients.

The doctors were totally dissatisfied with being provided inferior and incomplete PPEs despite being the front line workers against COVID-19.

A doctor divulged that after inspecting the equipments on April 12, the doctors and staff approached the Medical Superintendent (MS) of DHD to address the issue. He said the MS assured to take up the matter with the “higher authority”. 

He told Nagaland Post: “We have resolved not to attend to patients without proper and good quality PPE. How can they send us to the battlefield without needed ammunition?” He said the lives of doctors, nurses and medical staff cannot be put at risk by making them use inferior quality and incomplete PPEs.

Accommodation: Teams of medical staff on COVID-19 duty are to be provided with decent food and accommodation during the five-day COVID-19 duty period, since they cannot go home after work and risk infecting their families.

However, it was revealed that the H&FW department has not identified any lodging place for the five-day duty period.

 On completion of the five-day duty, two private hotels in Dimapur, have been booked to accommodate the COVID-19 duty teams for the 14-day quarantine period. 

Each of the team members are to be provided a separate room with attached bathroom in order to prevent or minimise any form of contact or interaction during the quarantine period. 

Since the total incubation period of COVID-19 was 28 days, every team member, on completion of the five-day duty, would be quarantined at the designated quarantine facility for 14 days and allowed to go home for another 14 days home quarantine before repeating the five-day duty cycle. 

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