Worry among RKMH docs, health workers as patients throng hospital

[Staff Reporter]
ITANAGAR, Apr 16: Amid the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, there is growing concern among the doctors and the health workers at Ramakrishna Mission Hospital (RKMH) here, owing to the unprecedented rise in the numbers of routine health issues and non-Covid-19 patients.
Senior doctors of the hospital have cautioned that there is a possibility of infection occurring as the hospital is catering to more non-Covid-19 patients ever since Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) was designated as ‘Covid-19 hospital’ in early April.
“We are catering to more patients now, ever since TRIHMS was declared a Covid-19 hospital on 1 April. Every day, non-Covid-19 patients are crowding. In this situation, there is more possibility of infection,” said a senior doctor who wished not to be named.
The fear among the doctors and the health workers is growing after the death of veteran doctor John L Sailo Ryntathiang, of Bethany Hospital in Shillong (Meghalaya), from Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Reportedly, Dr Sailo had no history of foreign travel when he contracted the virus.
“RK Mission Hospital is catering to hundreds of patients per day. We fear a Bethany-like catastrophe. Rapid antibody test kits should be made available to screen all the staffers and high-risk indoor patients,” said another doctor.
He said stringent protocols need to be enforced in the hospital and rapid antibody test kits should be made available, so that screening, testing and sanitization may be carried out intensively.
He added that, as the monsoon is approaching, the hospital might be weighed down by additional burden in the form of seasonal diarrhoea and malaria patients.
“The government needs to come up with an alternative mechanism. How long will this temporary arrangement go on?” the doctor said. He suggested that the government revamp and modernize the hospital, so that it can cater to more patients.
Official sources informed that the health department is facing acute shortage of rapid antibody test kits and the government has placed an order for 30,000 such kits, which are likely to arrive this week.
RKMH has an intake capacity of 200 beds. Chief Minister Pema Khandu had visited the hospital on 1 April to assess it, before declaring that RKMH would take care of routine health issues. He had also assured the hospital’s officials that the hospital would be strengthened with manpower and facilities.
While this daily was unable to get a reaction from the RKMH authority on the current development, we have received confirmation from a doctor that TRIHMS would also be asked to handle routine cases, in view of the daily crowding that is taking place at RKMH.