AIIMS Trauma Centre to be dedicated COVID-19 hospital

‘102 ambulances’ should not be used for infected patients, says Health Ministry

Published - March 30, 2020 11:41 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Trauma Centre of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, has been designated the city’s COVID-19 hospital with the administration now looking at augmenting the bed strength from 242 to 260.

The move comes following Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba’s direction for dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in every State. While over 17 States have put in place these hospitals, others are also following the order, noted Union Health Ministry.

The Ministry has also identified the National Cancer Institute under AIIMS for COVID-19 treatment. It is a 800-bed hospital in Haryana’s Jhajjar.

The hospital administration, confirming the development, said that existing patients at the Trauma Centre have been shifted to the main hospital. “They have been shifted to their respective departments and all emergency cases will be directed to the main hospital as well. Only COVID-19 patients will be housed in the centre to avoid cross-infectionto the already vulnerable patients. This segregation, besides allowing us to offer specialised care, will also reduce the chances of infection to a larger section of the society. So far, the hospital has not received any COVID-19 patient,” said a senior physician at the Trauma Centre.

Team in quarantine

Meanwhile, a team of 14 medical employees, including doctors and nurses, that was treating COVID-19 patients at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital has been sent into home quarantine and their samples are being tested, official sources said on Monday.

One of the nurses had a fever on Sunday evening, so the entire team has been asked to quarantine themselves, said a source.

The Union Health Ministry said that set protocol regarding exposure is being followed.

In an attempt to bolster readiness, AIIMS-Delhi is training doctors and nurses through online classes and has set up a 24X7 call facility for doctors to seek guidance on clinical care of COVID-19 patients. AIIMS had shut its OPD services on March 23 and had also issued an advisory to OPD patients, requesting them to postpone their appointments. The hospital also postponed all elective surgeries from March 20. Safdarjung Hospital is already admitting and treating COVID-9 patients.

Several private hospitals have also offered to convert to dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities.

The Union Health Ministry has also said that ‘102 ambulances’ should not be used for COVID-19 patients as they are needed to transport only pregnant women or sick infants. It added that all medical technicians in the ambulance as well as the driver must wear protective equipment when handling COVID-19 suspect or patients.

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