“ANY chair of authority is a responsibility and a chance to work and prove your mettle. My first task will be to fill in the gaps, give the ongoing programmes a new impetus, address problem areas and rectify the mistakes and, most importantly, work out effective strategies to counter COVID-19 in the city. There are many tasks that need to be taken care of and I am raring to go,” said Dr Amandeep Kang, who took over as the UT’s new Director Health Services.
Dr Kang is head of the Gynaecology Department, Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, and on August 15 was presented with a recommendation certificate by the UT Administration for her work in the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are witnessing a downward trend in COVID cases and the need of the hour is to step up testing so that positive cases can be identified, isolated, treated and it’s the only way that we can check the spread of infection. Also, micro-containment zones must be strengthened to prevent a surge and home isolation of patients is another effective step to tackle COVID-19. Once we can level out infection, hospitals will have more staff and space to take care of critical cases and also not be overburdened,” Dr Kang said.
Dr Kang believes that a sound strategy is to use Rapid Antigen Detection Tests for screening and fast testing larger populations, as these are simple, easy, a high specificity of close to 99 per cent, though less sensitivity.
“If a person tests positive with a Rapid Antigen, he or she is a positive case, and in case of a negative result and a symptomatic patient, we need to surely go in for an RT-PCR test. I believe this approach will help us control transmission and my immediate aim is to go out in the field, focus on home isolation cases, ensure checks and balances to ensure that patients are taken care of and are on the road to recovery. Being in the field will result in accountability and also motivate our workers,” said Dr Kang, an MBBS and MD from Government Medical College, Patiala, who joined GMCH-32 in 1996 as a senior resident and in 1999, she joined GMSH-16 as medical officer in the Gynaecology Department.
As a doctor, Dr Kang describes herself as a multi-tasker, who believes in going into minute details of any issue. The field of gynaecology, she adds, requires quick decisions, and as a medical officer, she recalls, she has handled close to 50 patients at a time.
“In these 25 years in service, I have given multiple commands and I am a hands-on person. For me, no work is big or small, and this is a valuable lesson I learnt from Dr Gurdeep Kaur, who was the head of the department when I had joined the hospital as an impressionable young doctor. She would push the trolley in case no one was available, rush to get reports from the lab and lead from the front and it was very inspiring,” she added.
Dr Kang asserts that the need of the hour is to have a consistent approach to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 and it is of paramount importance that we wear masks and keep a social distance. “We cannot be complacent at this stage. It is our responsibility to take precautions and it is essential that we contain the spread of disease and by wearing masks on our nose and face we will be able to check the infection. So I urge everyone not to take off their masks in public and crowded spaces and avoid crowding. In a few days, I will have a concrete plan of action to spread this message everywhere,” Dr Kang said.
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