Coimbatore

A glimpse of the routine of medical team working in COVID-19 wards

(From left) A nurse, doctor and a sanitary worker attached to the COVID-19 management team of Government Hospital, Mettupalayam, on duty at the special ward.

(From left) A nurse, doctor and a sanitary worker attached to the COVID-19 management team of Government Hospital, Mettupalayam, on duty at the special ward.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

They work for eight hours after which the next team takes over duty



Sweating and discomfort in breathing are often cited by many as excuses not to wear mask even as COVID-19 pandemic spreading fast in the country and in Tamil Nadu.

Those working in COVID-19 wards in hospitals are literally wrapping themselves with protective gears of various sorts, proper wearing of which alone consumes at least 20 minutes. Once put on the personal protective equipment (PPE), doctors, nursing staff and conservancy workers deputed in such wards work eight hours at a stretch in non-air conditioned rooms.

“After wearing the PPE, they will not be able to consume food or water. They won’t be able to use rest rooms too. They work for eight hours after which the next team takes over duty,” says T. Ravikumar, medical superintendent of Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore, the main treatment centre for COVID-19 here.

As many as 35 doctors, around 100 nursing staff and 60 sanitary workers are working in COVID-19 ward at ESI Hospital in three shifts of eight hours each. They work as two teams in the outpatient ward and inpatient ward.

“Those working in COVID-19 ward are not allowed to go to their home after duty. They stay at the quarters inside the campus. After seven days of duty, they get seven days of rest during which they will have to remain in self isolation. They will be tested for COVID-19 after the seven days and will be allowed to go home if the result returns negative,” says Dr. Ravikumar.

At the COVID-19 special ward set up at a private hospital at Mettupalayam, which had 21 COVID-19 patients who were shifted to ESI Hospital, 20 doctors, 60 nursing staff and 25 sanitary workers from Government Hospital, Mettupalayam, take care of the patients and those with symptoms.

S. Cheralathan, Chief Medical Officer of Mettupalayam GH, said that a shift system similar to the one at ESI Hospital was followed for the medical team at Mettupalayam.

The hospital has also sought higher ups for the allocation of doctors on deputation from other Government hospitals to Mettupalayam GH to balance regular inpatient and outpatient services.

A relatively small medical team was also formed at Government Hospital, Annur, where nine persons who had returned from Tablighi Jamaat conference at Nizamuddin in New Delhi were kept in isolation.

Seven private hospitals in Coimbatore were also permitted to manage COVID-19 cases. All these private hospitals have formed similar medial teams. On Friday, five persons who had symptoms of COVID-19 were under observation in private hospitals.

This article has been corrected for a factual error.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:22:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/a-glimpse-of-the-routine-of-medical-team-working-in-covid-19-wards/article31274136.ece

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