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Quick recovery a relief as Pune hospitals see rise in doctors, hospital staff testing Covid positive

🔴 According to a report from the health department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday, 3,959 persons tested positive for Covid-19 taking the total number of active cases in the city to 35,073.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: January 18, 2022 9:19:20 am
pune covid news, pune covid cases, maharashtra covid newsA ticket collector checking the vaccination status of passengers, in Pune. (Express Photo by Arul Horizon)

Even as hospitals across Pune have seen their healthcare staff getting infected with the transmissible Covid variant, authorities have said that the lower rate of hospitalisation coupled with reduction in quarantine period have ensured that services are not affected.

At Sahyadri Hospitals, with staff strength of around 2,000 people across eight units, six of which are in Pune and one each in Nashik and Karad, around 120 people have tested Covid positive in the last few weeks.

Abrarali Dalal, chief executive officer, Sahyadri Hospitals, said these include nurses, paramedical support staff, resident doctors, administrative staff, and consultant doctors.

“Unlike the earlier two waves where our units were filled with patients, thankfully, this time there is a lower rate of hospitalisation. Also, services are not affected,” he said.

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However, there has been a drop in the number of planned surgeries. For instance, at Noble Hospital, planned surgeries have come down by 50 per cent. “At least 78 staff are Covid affected. Some have recovered and returned to work. But the number of planned surgeries has come down. As against more than 20 surgeries every day, only eight to 10 are being taken up now,” Dr H K Sale, executive director of the hospital, said.

Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital authorities said that patients were also requesting them to postpone the date of the surgery. “There is some anxiety among patients as they do not want to come to the hospital for procedures that were planned previously,” an official said. Authorities at Bharati Hospital, Ruby Hall Clinic and others have also said that over 100 each staff members were affected with Covid.

Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director at Bharati Hospital, said that of the 100 Covid infections, at least 50 percent are of medicos while the rest are nurses, paramedical, technical staff and attendants.

“We are allowing them seven-day quarantine. That will also get relaxed over time as so many are getting infected. As per the rules, if a healthcare worker is afebrile (not feverish) for three days, he/she can join duty by wearing a mask. While there is a drop in patients at the surgical OPD, the routine one has patients with cold and cough symptoms,” Dr Lalwani said.

At least 15 doctors are in quarantine and 20 staff are affected, Dr Parag Sancheti, Chairman and Managing Director of Sancheti Hospital, said. “While trauma patients and road accident cases are coming in the emergency room, we have seen several patients cancelling prior appointments for OPD consultation. However, at the hospital, doctors are back to work after four or five days of rest. We are taking necessary precautions,” he said.

At Ruby Hall Clinic, Dr Avdhut Bodamwad, medical superintendent, said that at least 100 staff members, including doctors and nurses, have tested positive in the last few weeks. “However not a single employee had severe symptoms or required ICU management,” he said.

According to a report from the health department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday, 3,959 persons tested positive for Covid-19 taking the total number of active cases in the city to 35,073. Health officials said that there were 3,978 beds with oxygen support and 484 with ventilator support that were vacant.

Study to assess clinical symptoms among hospitalised Omicron patients

B J Medical College (BJMC) and Sassoon General Hospital has initiated a study to assess the clinical symptoms in more than 100 patients hospitalised due to the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV2 virus.

The initial study was mainly restricted to international travellers and their contacts, and symptoms were mild. Some of the patients were even asymptomatic. BJMC, which has a laboratory recognised by ICMR, for Covid-19 testing and genome sequencing has tested over 6.8 lakh samples till date.

Presently, 177 Covid affected patients are admitted to Sassoon general hospital. Fifteen of these patients are on ventilator support. “We are trying to get a clear idea of the clinical presentation of hospitalised Omicron patients. Genome sequencing has been done of the clinically relevant patients. Over 100 patients who are hospitalised with Omicron variant will be monitored and assessed,” officials at Sassoon hospital said.

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