September 30, 2021 6:38:36 am
“The entire year has been about dealing with a multitude of challenges, with the second wave of Covid-19 testing our health infrastructure and health care workers. In my tenure, I had to tackle two surges with my team, and had no time to spend with my family. Right now I am looking forward to a break from work and being at home with them,” says Dr Amandeep Kang, Director Health Services who retires on September 30.
It’s been a testing year for Dr Kang, who was awarded a commendation certificate by the UT Administration on August 15 for her meritorious services in working out effective strategies to counter Covid in Chandigarh. She recalls that when she joined in October last year, she had to hit the ground running as Covid cases accelerated.
“Apart from strategies of containment, our focus was testing, tracing and isolation,” says Dr Kang.
With a steep surge in cases during the second wave, shortage of ICU beds, medicines, ventilators, fatigue in health care workers, Dr Kang says that they were adding close to 700 Covid positive patients every 15 days. A high number of patients were also in home isolation. “We had 100 per cent occupancy in government hospitals. To add to it, we also had to monitor private hospitals, while dealing with issues of low oxygen supply and attending to new patients from within and outside the city. The pressure on our health system was high and there was no room for complacency. During the two weeks, when the surge was at its peak, we worked together as a team and gave our best. Confidence in your ability to face tough times, to keep finding solutions and giving your best is paramount to come out of a difficult situation. You have to reach out to people and feedback is important to improve services. If you are doing your job, you don’t need to be afraid,” she says.
Dr Kang is proud of the fact that the vaccination drive has been very successful in Chandigarh, with the health department’s teams, covering large populations in both urban and rural areas. More than 20 mobile teams have reached out to people across the city,
especially ones who are vulnerable within colonies, old age homes, schools, colleges and public places.
“The idea was to cover a large population fast and strategies had to be made to make the process seamless. Dispensaries were instructed to motivate people to get vaccinated, with buses and ambulances used for the drive. As many as 8,97,223 people (106.43%) have been vaccinated with the first dose till now. Not only vaccination, testing facilities across the city were upgraded, so that the spread of
infection could be checked,” she adds.
Dr Kang says that while they hope the third wave will not be severe, the health system needs to be prepared.
Apart from oxygen generation plants in government hospitals, a bank of oxygen concentrators with the Covid care centres, which proved to be a great success, are also on stand-by.
“Piped oxygen for every hospital bed in GMSH-16 and a 12-bed ICU here, a dedicated pediatric centre in Sector 45 with a 20-bed ICU, new ventilators, BiPAP machines…we have been working to ensure better infrastructure and facilities for patients. I urge the people of the city to get vaccinated, not to lower guard and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour to prevent a third wave. I believe we can achieve anything we want to. I have emerged stronger facing these challenges and I am ending my
career knowing that I did my best,” signs off a smiling Dr Kang.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.