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‘In these testing times, our biggest issue is manpower’

According to available data, as many as 478 Health Care Workers from PGI have tested positive since April 1, and have to be either in quarantine or seek treatment.

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
April 30, 2021 5:23:56 am
Punjab, Covid-19Health workers collecting samples for a Covid test in Chandigarh. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Professor Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER Thursday stated that their ICU beds are full, with more than 297 Covid cases in Nehru Extension Block, out of which 87 belong to Chandigarh and rest to other states.

According to available data, as many as 478 Health Care Workers from PGI have tested positive since April 1, and have to be either in quarantine or seek treatment. The Institute, to meet the rising demand of critical care and ICU beds, has been adding new beds for Covid patients, according to the space, availability of oxygen points and has also been adding ventilators et al.

“To treat patients, we just don’t need beds, we need doctors, nurses, technical staff and this time we are facing acute staff shortage, as at various points of time our staff is getting infected, not only from the high-risk hospital setting, but also from the community. Also, medical examinations have been on since a month, with a number of our residents and staff busy with exams. We have sent a request to the Government of India and our file is with the Ministry and more nurses are our number one requirement, followed by doctors and technical staff and I hope our request is catered to on a priority,” said Prof Ram. No one, he added, is immune to this virus, with the double, triple mutations increasing the speed of transmission and infection.

At this time, the Institute has about 1,500 nurses and 300 doctors. “Right now, we are managing with whatever manpower is there, we have to face the situation, there is no other option. But apart from our Covid patients, we have to attend to our ICU, Emergency and other patients, with our ICU patients already doubled since last year, so yes, we need more staff,” sums up the Director.

The Director said that last year, infrastructure, PPE kits, masks, gloves, ventilators etc were needed, and this year, with the wave close to four times bigger than the last, and the cases rising every day, the urgent issue is of manpower.

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