TIMS wants RT-PCR report, Gandhi accepts RAT result for admission

There is now a single entry and exit point at Gandhi Hospital, whose mortuary has been turned into a high-security facility with the police keeping vigil round the clock.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

“The hospital staff are insisting on a RT-PCR positive report before admitting the patient. Even a High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) report showing damage to lungs is being ignored,” lamented a patient’s relative at the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research on Tuesday.

In contrast, a healthcare worker at Gandhi Hospital informed that the Rapid Antigen Test conducted in the facility is being used to admit COVID-19 patients at the tertiary care centre. “Most of the cases are from the city. They are from all over the city. Earlier RT-PCR was being insisted on but as it is taking a lot of time, patients are being admitted with just a RAT report,” said the healthcare worker in the emergency ward.

“We are continuously processing patient admissions. While we are doing the paperwork, there are patients waiting in ambulances around the building block,” said the healthcare worker unwilling to go on record. Patients are being admitted in multiple locations at Gandhi Hospital to speed up the process.

The RT-PCR test report is taking upwards of 24 hours before patients know their status and on weekends, it is taking more than 48 hours. On Sunday afternoon, when Ali (name changed to protect identity) reached a corporate hospital in Secunderabad with his elderly in-laws having a breathing problem, the staff insisted on a RT-PCR report. They took the patients to TIMS Gachibowli and waited in their hired ambulance with personal oxygen concentrator for three hours to be sent back for the RT-PCR report.

Another private hospital near Mehdipatnam too, refused to admit the patients without a positive report. “We paid ₹30,000 for the five-hour ambulance ride through the city with two breathless patients. We took a HRCT test that showed a CO-RAD score of +4 at Shaikpet. The oxygen saturation was dropping to 80-85 without support, but still they wanted a positive RT-PCR report,” said the patient’s attendant. The patients are now in ICU at a private hospital near L.B. Stadium.

According to sources at TIMS, for every 100 patients getting admitted with a positive RT-PCR report, an equal number are being turned away.

Physical access to both medical facilities has been been cut off for journalists, with a posse of police officials allowing only patients or medicare personnel to enter the premises. At Gandhi Hospital, entry and exit are from a single gate. The mortuary at the rearside of the building has been turned into a high-security facility with police officials guarding it round the clock.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 11:56:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tims-wants-rt-pcr-report-gandhi-accepts-rat-result-for-admission/article34370804.ece

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