Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 26
“People should follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and avoid overcrowding in the coming festival season. The immunity against the virus will also start waning by October-end and that is the time when we need to remain cautious. The next two months will be crucial for the city to prevent a third wave,” said Dr Amandeep Kang, who is set to retire as the Director, Health Services, UT, on September 30.
Second wave was the biggest challenge
The second wave came in April this year and Dr Kang was confronted with one of the major hardships of her tenure. Speaking about it, she said, “I was really worried for people during the second wave. I was scared that I had to prioritise patients waiting to get ICU beds in queues. We had converted 250 beds for Covid and reserved 20-30 beds at each Civil Hospital. The major challenge was shortage of ICU beds.
We had to ramp up the infrastructure within two to three days. Another challenge was that during the second wave, the number of patients in home isolation had increased and a rapid response team (RRT) was looking after these patients, who were a part of the extended hospital beds at home. Our team even collected blood samples from homes of these patients,” she said.
‘Geared up to tackle a possible third wave’
Asked about the preparations for a possible third wave, Dr Kang said, “From six ICU beds, the infrastructure has been increased to 20 ICU beds at the GMSH-16. There are 15 ICU beds at the Civil Hospital, Sector 45, for paediatric patients. There are an additional 12 ICU beds at the nursing college building of the GMSH. We have provided oxygen concentrators to each Health and Wellness Centre and have 80 more in stock.”
The RT-PCR capacity has been enhanced by all government hospitals in the city. By next month, the GMSH, Sector 16, will also have an RT-PCR machine that will be able to conduct at least 500 tests daily.
“A tele hub for paediatric Covid patients will be launched soon wherein the PGI will be the nodal paediatric centre and will be connected to all government hospitals and healthcare workers (HCWs). Through this digital platform, paediatricians will be able to seek consultation from each other and take better care of the patients,” she said.
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