To ensure social distancing in their “flu outpatient departments (OPDs)”, Gurgaon Civil Hospital is operating the OPDs in the open, outside the hospital building.
According to officials, the strategy was adopted last month, after it was noticed that the four flu OPDs in the hospital were experiencing a high footfall, creating problems in maintaining social distancing in the rooms allotted for their operations.
Officials say “around 100 to 150 samples” of patients are being collected for coronavirus testing per day at the hospital. “Space is not an issue under normal circumstances, but it became a problem because of the pandemic. We started operating our four flu OPDs in the open just so that we would be able to maintain social distancing, ensure proper ventilation, and minimise the exposure of our doctors to any infection,” said Principal Medical Officer (PMO) Deepa Sindhu.
“We can maintain normal OPDs inside also, but this is the arrangement as of now. It is a continuous process, we are already in the third month of the pandemic and it is unlikely to let up any time in the near future. This is why, in long-term planning, we just decided we would operate from outside so that our doctors remain safe,” she said.
The four OPDs have been set up in different parts of the premises, along with a help desk located near gate number 2. While two are set up under tents, the medicine OPD has been set up in a verandah of the hospital, while the fourth OPD has been set up in the shade of several trees.
Officials said that the space problem will be fixed when a new 500-bed hospital is set up in place of the current Civil Hospital. “The old building had been declared unsafe and the estimate for demolition had already been sent for approval to higher authorities. Also, the proposal for building a 500-bed hospital is under process. The pandemic that broke out suddenly delayed things, otherwise work on this would have started by now,” said the PMO.
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