Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus | CMC readies 400-bed facility in Ranipet for COVID-19 patients

Collector had requested that capacity be stepped up

To expand the capacity for management of COVID-19, the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore is readying a facility to accommodate up to 400 patients on its new campus in Kannigapuram in Ranipet district.

The move is based on a request from the Ranipet Collector to create additional capacity.

“It is a new district with limited in-patient beds in the government sector and a minimal presence of private hospitals. In the first phase, we have readied two general ward floors. In the second phase, we are getting two more floors with 170-180 beds ready. The district administration has asked for an ICU facility that will be ready in two months,” said J.V. Peter, director of CMC.

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On its main campus in Vellore district, CMC has allocated 210 beds, including 36 ICU beds, for patients presenting with Influenza Like Illness or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection. The institution began its preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic early January.

The Hospital Infection Control Committee brought out protocols for screening, triaging, quarantine, testing and treatment based on available evidence, he said.

The number of COVID-19 cases is low in the now trifurcated Vellore district — Vellore, Ranipet and Tirupattur districts. “Despite the actual numbers, Tamil Nadu has done very well with a phenomenal number of tests. Countries like Singapore and South Korea have demonstrated that when you do a lot of testing, we can isolate the cluster and manage them,” he said.

Preparing for COVID-19 was a challenging task considering the huge inflow of patients. CMC put in place certain policies. It made use of masks mandatory for both public and healthcare professionals. Next was physical distancing.

“This was challenging due to the number of patients. But we have staggered OPD timings. For handwashing, we have installed wash stations with soap solutions at different points. No spitting is allowed on campus. We have also taken up screening of patients at the entrances,” Dr. Peter said.

“Our current thinking is that we will have designated green zones — certain areas in the hospital where we will have patients with absolutely no symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have tested negative. One block will be designated for COVID-19 suspects and patients,” he added.

Noting that Tamil Nadu was a destination for medical tourism, he said, “Persons from other States visit places such as Chennai, Coimbatore and Vellore for treatment. We need to create protocols on how we can manage such patients, how we can screen, isolate and test them. We are having a dialogue with the State government and our policies should be in alignment with the policies of the government.”

The institution is ramping up its teleconsultation services, while its departments of Community Health, Family Medicine and the Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA) have been working among local communities in villages, tribal areas in Jawadhu Hills and the slums in and around Vellore, and providing healthcare.

Nurses of the College of Nursing Community Health Department have been visiting patients with psychiatric problems at their homes to dispense monthly drugs. Among other activities, medical and nursing students and fashion designing students from RUHSA have stitched more than 264 masks, 650 head covers and 70 pairs of shoes so far.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 8:28:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cmc-readies-400-bed-facility-in-ranipet-for-covid-19-patients/article31597121.ece

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