Hectic preparation for COVID-19 hospital Dimapur

Hectic preparation for COVID-19 hospital Dimapur
Hectic renovation works underway at COVID designated hospital. (NP)
Staff Reporters DIMAPUR, APR 7 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/7/2020 12:20:29 PM IST

After the state government had declared District Hospital Dimapur as COVID-19 Hospital with a ten-bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a visit by a team of reporters from Nagaland Post Tuesday instead revealed that it was still under preparation. 

The team discovered that it would be ready only after a week or so, in order to be able to admit COVID-19 patients. The only part of the DHD that appeared to be ready for COVID-19 patients, was the 10-bedded ICU, set up in the recently constructed ‘Trauma Centre’. Sources in the hospital also disclosed that out of the ten ventilators for the ten ICUs, four have been received and installed on Tuesday in the ICU cabins. The hospital also plans to convert two more wards in the main hospital into ICU and install the remaining six ventilators.

A major portion of the hospital which has been in a dilapidated state, is undergoing an emergency major renovation and repair.

During the visit by the team of reporters, it was also discovered that not a single bed in the general ward section was ready except the beds in the ICU cabins.

 The Integrated AYUSH Hospital, located at the same premises, is also part of the COVID-19 hospital. However, the condition of the building was worse than the main hospital building and also undergoing major renovation. When pressed for information, sources from the hospital who spoke on condition of anonymity admitted that the hospital was “practically not prepared” at the present to admit any COVID-19 patients till the repairs and renovation was completed.

The sources said the renovation was undertaken at the express directives of state chief minister Neiphiu Rio who saw the dilapidated condition of the DHD during his visit on April 3.

It was opined that had the construction of the new hospital building been completed, there would have been no problem for setting up the 100-bedded COVID-19 hospital. The sources said the new building remained incomplete for more than a decade.

However, officials told the team that they were ever ready to handle COVID-19 cases as and when the need arose and that they were hopeful that the repairs and renovation would be completed by after a week.

Some of the officials felt that Dimapur should have been given priority in terms of funding and health infrastructure since it has the state’s highest population and density; influx of several thousand migrants and transit point of the state. Dimapur also has widespread cases of many tropical and endemic diseases and viruses.

An officials also warned that any outbreak of contagious diseases in Dimapur has the potential of quickly spreading across the state.

The officials also expressed apprehension over the supply and availability of oxygen cylinders as there were urgent demands from all the districts. The official explained that as COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, every patient would require oxygen. 

What was also shocking is the DHD still has no power back up such as generator in the event of power failure.

However, they said a request has been made to the district power department for constant supply (24/7).

The officials informed that the hospital authority had demanded a transformer and as per the recommendation of the power department, an order for a 125 KV generator was placed but due to lack of fund the delivery has been delayed.

Shortage of staff

Apart from the infrastructural problem, the Dimapur COVID-19 hospital is also facing severe shortage of medical doctors and nurses. The hospital does not have an epidemiologist.

District Hospital Dimapur, considered one of the biggest hospitals in Nagaland, has only 39 doctors and 100 nurses, inclusive of doctors and nurses of National Health Mission (NHM).

A medical staff informed that the hospital faced acute shortage of masks and sanitizers during the initial days of the outbreak in India. However, this was taken care off with donations from many individuals and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).


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