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Curb Covid infections in ICUs and dialysis centres: Govt issues advisory to hospitals

🔴 Over the past few days, healthcare workers and Delhi government officials have pointed out that several of the people who are seriously ill with Covid are those who may have been admitted to hospitals already or had come in for a procedure and had tested positive for Covid later.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
January 10, 2022 2:20:32 am
Beds being set up at a Covid care centre in Commonwealth Games Village. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Cases of patients already admitted to ICU wards, as well those regularly coming in for dialysis, testing positive for Covid are on the rise again, officials said.

Over the past few days, healthcare workers and Delhi government officials have pointed out that several of the people who are seriously ill with Covid are those who may have been admitted to hospitals already or had come in for a procedure and had tested positive for Covid later.

The government suspects that this might be because of infected healthcare workers and undiagnosed infected patients being admitted in the ICU and dialysis units of hospitals.

An advisory issued to heads of hospitals by the Directorate of Health Services on Sunday states, “… it has been observed that there is an upsurge of Covid-19 cases within ICUs/ dialysis units and wards of hospitals. Whereas, infected healthcare workers /undiagnosed infected patients admitted in ICUs/ dialysis units/ wards of the hospitals is one of the likely causes of spread of Covid-19 in these areas.”

Senior health officials told The Indian Express that most of the people who had either died over the past few days or were on ventilator support were the ones who had serious co-morbid conditions such as cancer, pulmonary disease or heart disease.

The Directorate of Health Services in its advisory has now asked hospitals to ensure that healthcare workers deployed to treat non-Covid patients follow Covid appropriate behaviour strictly. “All healthcare workers should be routinely checked for SARS-CoV2. Further, healthcare workers with symptoms suggestive of Covid infection should not be allowed to work till RT-PCR report is negative… authorities of all private hospitals / nursing homes are to ensure that there should be an isolation area within ICUs and wards to manage new patients till their RT-PCR report is available,” it says.

On Sunday, the capital reported 22,751 fresh cases and a positivity rate of 23.53%.

It also saw a sharp increase in the number of Covid deaths on Sunday, with 17 people dying as opposed to 7 on Saturday. The death count for one day is higher than that in the whole of November and December.

“Most people who are combating serious symptoms and are being put on ventilators are those with existing co-morbid conditions. So while the situation may not be very serious for those who are healthy, it is those with compromised immune systems who are suffering the most. This is why wearing masks and avoiding gatherings is important right now. Those who are healthy may not suffer, but those who are unwell will have to bear the brunt of the disease,” said a senior Delhi government official.

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