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Move to dedicate Gandhi Hospital to COVID-19 cases

Many departments to be shifted to Osmania General Hospital

Preparations are under way to dedicate the Gandhi Hospital exclusively for COVID-19 cases. Orders to this effect were issued by Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender who held a review meeting on Thursday to discuss the measures needed to be taken if the infection reaches Stage-3 (Community transmission)

Currently, it is in Stage-2, which is local transmission- a patient with no history of international travel but a contact of COVID-19 patient. Source of infection can be traced at this stage. If source of infection cannot be traced for large number of cases, it is community transmission.

In Telangana, at least six cases of local transmission were reported. The State government has increased surveillance to avoid further spread of the virus.

Mr Rajender along with health officials held discussions on hospitals, staff, medical equipment that would be required if the infection enters Stage-3.

Since three days, surgeries related to burns, trauma, emergency cases which were scheduled to be performed at Gandhi Hospital were shifted to Osmania General Hospital.

Director of Medical Education Dr K Ramesh Reddy directed superintendents of the hospitals to shift the remaining departments too from Gandhi Hospital. If there is further need, services from private hospitals and medical colleges will be utilised.

Though the official bed capacity of OGH is 1,168, a little over 1,300 patients are admitted at the hospital. However, after COVID-19 scare, the number of in-patients has come down to around 950. If the patients undergoing treatment under various speciality departments at Gandhi Hospital are shifted to OGH, additional equipment such as ventilators, infusion pumps, and others, have to be provided to the latter.

Additional para-medical staff too would be required to attend patients.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) too would be required in case COVID-19 cases increase. Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMIDC) managing director Chandrasekhar Reddy was directed to procure the PPEs. Meanwhile, insurance cover was provided to ASHA workers.

Pointing out that medical equipment needed cannot be imported from abroad under prevailing situation, Mr Rajender requested Union Health Minister to grant permission to Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), and other companies in Hyderabad to manufacture the equipment which can be supplied across India.

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