Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 7
The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) is reeling under staff shortage amid a raging pandemic as 302 healthcare workers (HCWs) have tested positive for Covid-19 since January 3. Of these, 157 are doctors – junior residents, senior residents and faculty members.
Dr Vipin Kaushal, Medical Superintendent, PGI, said, “The sudden outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in manpower shortage amid the raging third wave. We have chalked out a contingency plan to deal with the situation, as per which doctors who were posted in OPDs will now be redeployed to Covid duties and other areas where workforce is required. The infectivity of Omicron variant is much higher and many of our patients in the hospital are doctors only.”
No walk-in OPDs at GMCH from tomorrow
- In order to reduce exposure of HCWs to Covid patients, the GMCH has decided to suspend walk-in OPDs from Monday onwards. However, telemedicine and online appointment for physical consultation in OPDs will continue from 9 am to 1 pm. The OPD services for obstetrics patients, radiation and oncology (OPD for cancer patients) and Emergency services will continue as usual.
- GMCH Director Jasbinder Kaur said, “Due to the recent surge in Covid cases and positivity in the city and surrounding areas, the number of HCWs getting infected with the virus is also increasing. In order to continue to provide care to critically ill patients and those infected with Covid, it is important to reduce the risk of HCWs getting infected in the hospital set-up.”
An official statement of the PGI reads, “The increase in cases amongst HCWs is commensurate with an increase in cases amongst the population at large. More than 95 per cent of HCWs who tested positive had received both doses of the Covid vaccine. It is reassuring that almost all of these infections have been mild. HCWs, who are staying in hostels on the institute campus and who do not have provision for home isolation, have been isolated in the Nehru Hospital Extension Ward.”
The PGI also stated that it was difficult to be sure whether these cases are of ‘Omicron’ or not. “The administration is keeping a close watch on the situation and taking all steps to control the situation. All departments have been advised to strictly follow the Covid-appropriate behaviour and all employees have been instructed to wear a mask at all times,” added Dr Kaushal.
The administration, in association with the Association of Resident Doctors, has decided to convert all mess facilities in the PGI hostels into ‘take-away’ eateries. All sports events stand cancelled. Teaching activities in the institute are being conducted through online mode.
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