MCH continues to bear the brunt of COVID-19 fight

The Government Medical College Hospital (MCH), Kozhikode, a major centre of healthcare in the Malabar region, continues to bear the brunt of the fight against COVID-19, and efforts to ease its burden are reportedly going at a slow pace.

According to sources, the implementation of the plan to have more COVID-19 hospitals in the district is yet to fully take shape. District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao in an order dated July 25 had proposed to convert the Government General Hospital, Kozhikode, into a COVID hospital.

Another building attached to the MCH and four more facilities at private hospitals too were identified. They were supposed to have between 100 and 400 beds, intensive care units with 10 to 30 beds, along with systems to provide oxygen supply. Doctors from the MCH were supposed to supervise their functioning. The hospital was asked to handle only people with severe symptoms and those with other health issues. Though the work on the new facilities was supposed to finish by July 31, it is not even halfway through, the sources said.

Spiralling cases

With the number of new cases going up every day, this is apparently straining the healthcare staff there, who have been putting up a brave fight against the pandemic. Over 20 healthcare workers at the hospital have already been tested positive, and around 100 have gone into quarantine too. Treatment and surgeries for non-COVID patients have been hit for the past few months.

Against this backdrop, a section of doctors has now sought decentralisation of the current treatment and testing methods to help the MCH relieve some stress. One of them said on condition of anonymity that a majority of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients at the MCH now were either asymptomatic or those with mild symptoms. Some others have less severe symptoms and very few are in critical condition. The first category can be treated at home and the second can be admitted even at primary health centres, family health centres, or taluk hospitals. The staff at these facilities should be trained for the purpose. This will help the MCH staff breathe easy, he added.

The Calicut chapter of the Kerala Medical Postgraduates Association too has sought similar steps. In a memorandum to the college principal, the association said lab testing for COVID-19 could be done from outside instead of the MCH. COVID suspected patients need to be isolated from those with non-COVID illnesses.

There should be separate isolation facility for residents and other healthcare staff at the MCH, the memorandum added.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 10:23:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/mch-continues-to-bear-the-brunt-of-covid-19-fight/article32263261.ece

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