Covid: 3 suspected patients in Jalandhar

4-bed ICU, 7 ventilators ready at Civil Hospital; over 500 persons screened

Covid: 3 suspected patients in Jalandhar

The isolation ward at the Civil Hospital in Jalandhar. Tribune Photo

Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, March 5

Three new patients showing signs of the coronavirus have been reported from the city in the past two days. The new patients have a travel history of Italy and the UK. All three patients are currently under quarantine and are receiving treatment at private hospitals.

District Epidemiologist Dr Shobhna said, “The patients are only symptomatic yet. Their formal Covod-19 status will only be clear after getting reports of their tests.”

Stringent checks of visitors from abroad for Covid-19 are keeping the Health Department in the NRI-rich Doaba belt on its toes.

At present, a four-bed isolation ward (in the ICU of the trauma unit) and a 25-bed general ward have been kept ready at the Civil Hospital. From January till now, over 500 persons coming from abroad have been screened in the district. In the state, most of the foreign visitors are being reported from Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

Civil Surgeon Gurinder Kaur Chawla had said the Centre and the state government were keeping a strict vigil on people with a travel history of 61 countries inflicted with the coronavirus.

While there were at least two false alarms on Covid in the region (one in the city and another in the periphery), on Wednesday the health authorities stated that so far in Jalandhar only one person suspected for the virus had been tested, and they too turned out negative. The rest of the screenings were of asymptomatic persons.

The health authorities have been asked to ensure a 28-day home isolation for all visitors coming to the state from abroad. ANMS and ASHA workers in a large number are checking all patients coming from abroad and ensuring all precautions to keep Covid at bay.

The Civil Surgeon said if needed, backup units (ICUs) could be provided by private hospitals. But in the current situation, there is no such need.

A four-bed ICU at the trauma unit and seven ventilators are the current ICU arrangements available for coronavirus suspects at the Civil Hospital. A backup isolation unit arranged by the authorities is a dark and dingy ward with basic facilities.

Speaking on the limited isolation unit arrangements at the hospital, she said: “At present, we have seven ventilators at the hospital. The ICU at the trauma ward is currently enough and it can also serve as an effective quarantine ward. The backup third-floor ward will only be used to house asymptomatic patients. In the present situation, the arrangements are enough. If ever there is any additional need, private hospital ICUs will remain on call.”

MS Mandeep Kaur could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

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