“All Covid-19 hospitals should install CCTV cameras to facilitate patient management and for screening of footage by designated authorities or bodies when remedial action is required”
Notwithstanding the steep rise in Corona cases in Jammu, the administration at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) Jammu has apparently let loose ‘potential infection carriers’ to roam around wards and premises of the hospital hysterically.
According to a senior doctor in the hospital, wishing not to be named, attendants of the COVID patients admitted in the isolation wards of GMC&H Jammu have been seen roaming around the premises, without proper precautionary gear, except masks.
“The administration has failed to restrict the number of attendants with the COVID patients, who are admitted in isolation wards,” said doctor, adding that these attendants are acting as a ‘potential carrier’ of this deadly infection.
Senior doctor maintained that there is more than one attendant with the COVID patient; however one attendant with proper precautionary gear shall be permitted to stay with the patient, to arrange medicine.
“We have seen attendants roaming around the hospital premises from non-COVID wards to canteen to parking lots, making everyone vulnerable to this unseen enemy,” said the doctor, adding that even they are in contact with the doctors, which can be a very dangerous trend.
In images and videos (in possession of The Typewriter), shared by the senior doctor, the attendants can be seen roaming freely in the hospital premises and even approaching doctors.
“There should be a clear cut instructions for the attendants of Covid patients that they cannot move out of the Covid ward and the family attendant cannot be changed during the time his/her patient is admitted,” suggested doctor, adding “So many non-Covid patients are in the hospital and such a movement of attendant, who spend most of the time with COVID patient, will have a big risk of virus transmission.”
He stated that the hospital should take such incidents more seriously and manage things with the help of health staff, as they wear PPE kits and take better medical care.
“Hospital administration has miserably failed to comply the directions of the union government, wherein the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has written to the chief secretaries of all state governments that a ‘willing attendant of the patient’ can be cleared to remain in an ‘area earmarked by the hospital’,” said doctor, adding that there is no earmarked area in GMC&H Jammu in my knowledge.
The Covid-designated hospitals have also been asked to create a help desk “accessible physically as well as by telephone” from where the well-being of patients admitted in hospital can be enquired.
In addition, the Centre also directed the states that all Covid-19 hospitals should install CCTV cameras to facilitate patient management and “for screening of footage by designated authorities or bodies” when remedial action is required. CCTV cameras should also be installed in areas handling the bodies of Covid-19 patients who have succumbed to the pandemic.
Pertinent t o mention that Jammu and Kashmir continues to witness significant upsurge in Covid-19 cases, with the Union Territory (UT) reporting 4650 fresh cases on Tuesday to take the case tally to 191869. As many as 37 deaths pushed the death toll to 2458. Jammu district alone has a total 36791 cases, with 29490 recovered and 551 deaths.
The government has announced the extension of the lockdown till Monday morning.
Talking to The Typewriter, Principal of GMC&H Jammu, Shashi Sudhan Sharma said logically there should not be any attendant with the COVID patient. “Those who are civilised and literate understand this thing, but some people who are already positive and are in constant touch with their relatives show reluctance, ” Said principal, adding that earlier there used to be free hand to the attendants, but now they have beefed up the security of the wards and no attendant is allowed to move freely. She informed that there are eleven COVID-19 wards in the GMC&H.