Amid bouts of dehydration, fever, stress and several breakdowns, healthcare workers at Lok Nayak Hospital have treated and discharged over 10,000 Covid-19 patients. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the hospital was the first in the country to treat these many patients.
“Congratulations to the team of LNJP Hospital for successfully treating over 10,000 Covid positive patients. This is the highest number of people to whom any Indian hospital has been able to provide service to. Kudos to the team and staff and we are eternally grateful for their services,” he tweeted.
Over the past nine months, healthcare workers across the country have been battling not just the pandemic, but also tough work conditions. Lok Nayak Hospital is the city’s biggest dedicated Covid facility and is run by the Delhi government.
Located in central Delhi, the hospital saw its first suspected case on March 17. At the time, only 20 beds were set aside for Covid patients, which was subsequently increased to 2,000 after the hospital was converted into a Covid-only facility. Since then, the hospital has admitted 15,113 patients, out of which over 10,145 have recovered.
The Indian Express spoke to some of the doctors who have been actively involved in the day-to-day treatment and management of Covid cases since March.
Dr Suresh Kumar (57)
Working in the hospital for over 22 years, Dr Kumar said these nine months have been the most challenging. He was given charge at a time when the hospital transitioned from a 200-bed to a 2,000-bed Covid-only facility. “All the doctors have been working continuously for 15-16 hours to make sure patients get the best services. It is the contribution of each and every healthcare worker of our hospital that we have managed to treat over 10,000 patients successfully,” he said.
Dr Ritu Saxena (47)
Deputy medical superintendent
A rise in the number of patients being admitted was followed by several grievances and minor glitches. Since the beginning, Dr Saxena has been responsible for managing patients, attending to grievances of attendants and coordinating with doctors. “Dealing with the stress was not a cakewalk but we have all survived. The work pressure has always been high,” she said.
Dr Renu Talwar (50)
Professor, department of gynecology and obstetrics
She said: “Keeping patients safe, with special attention to mother and child, was always our priority. We went through the guidelines and upgraded treatment strategies as per the requirement. Complaints of patients were addressed regularly and each patient was attended to individually.” The team has performed 524 deliveries so far.
Dr Chandra Bhushan Singh (47)
head, department of surgery, nodal officer for Covid care in new surgical block:
He recalled how difficult it has been for the team to perform surgeries wearing PPEs for hours. “Unlike doctors from the department of medicine and anaesthesia, medical professionals from the surgery department did not have much idea about the virus. We found it extremely difficult to perform surgeries as we had to make changes in the OTs to make them compatible to treat patients. So far, we have performed over 200 surgeries on several patients who were referred to our hospital as they were Covid positive.”
Dr Rajdeep Singh (49)
professor, department of surgery
He said: “Being a dedicated Covid-only hospital, we were not taking any other patients except those who had some surgical complications along with Covid-19. There were large number of patients who were transferred from other hospitals to our centre. We read, learnt from our patients, took the opinion of our colleagues to tackle the disease.”
Third Covid wave on the wane: Jain
The third wave of the pandemic in the capital is not over yet but is “definitely on the wane”, Jain said Thursday. The city saw 1,575 new cases and 61 deaths, taking the total number of cases to 6,01,150 and the death toll to 9,874.
The positivity rate was recorded at 2.46% while the death rate based on the last 10 days data was recorded at 2.27%. With a dip in the positivity rate, Jain said “Cases are falling, and death count in a day is lowest in the last 40 days. The situation has improved, and we can definitely say the third wave of the pandemic here is on the wane. It is not over, but on the wane.”
On plans of Covid-19 vaccination, he said, healthcare workers and frontline staff will be administered the vaccine first, followed by the elderly and then others. “If we have vaccine availability, we can vaccinate the entire population in a week”s time, we have the preparations ready,” he added.
Asked how many people have registered for the Covid-19 vaccine, he said, about two lakh till Wednesday.
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