53 samples collected so far at NHAK
Kohima, April 14 (EMN): Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK), the designated Covid-19 hospital, has a dedicated functional OPD ready for positive cases, and training is being imparted to its staff, the public relation officers of the hospital, Dr. Senti and Dr. Phyantsuthung said on Tuesday.
Interacting with media persons, Dr. Senti informed that the hospital was working as per instructions from the government, concentrating on the health and safety of the public.
The official maintained that the Covid-19 hospital is exclusively for patients who are tested positive; and it is now empty, with alternative arrangements made and patients shifted to private hospitals in Kohima.
Dr. Phyantsuthung informed that the Covid-19 OPD has been functional from March 24 and stated that the cumulative update of total cases till 2 pm as on April 13 was 197.
He further added that 53 samples were sent for testing, out of which 30 returned negative; while results for the remaining 23 were awaited till April 14 afternoon.
Dedicated Covid-19 OPD
The officials stated that Kohima has a dedicated Covid-19 OPD that functions from 9 am to 2 pm. If a throat swab is collected, they said, the patient is then sent to Meriema quarantine centre, which has 95 beds ready, and has the intake capacity of 200 beds.
In cases where patients reach the hospital after 2 pm, the emergency medical officer on duty will contact the ‘Covid-19 in-charge’ and the patient will be kept in the hospital isolation ward. Swab samples will be collected the following day and sent for testing while the patient will be shifted to the quarantine centre.
The officials informed that no samples could be collected after 2 pm as the samples have to be transported to the testing centres.
It also stated that the core team has strategised and put all staff on roster, and added that the hospital would be functioning with skeletal staff until detection of a positive case.
According to the officials, the staff have been delegated to treat patients for a week and they would be quarantined in government facilities for 14 days, and on completion, kept on home quarantine for another 14 days.
‘PCR/throat swab test most reliable’
Dr. Senti shared that Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is required for Covid-19. He said, “To be sure that someone has Covid-19, we have to do PCR test or in other words, throat swab test and that is the most accurate test; and that test can be done where there is level-3 laboratory.”
Although the central ministry had recommended for rapid testing, he opined that it could be done in endemic areas, wherein the number of cases were very high. He viewed that Nagaland should still go for throat swab.
However, the officials were also apprehensive about the safety of setting up a level-3 laboratory ‘considering the hazardous impact it has with the conditions of the infrastructure and its imposition of criteria’.
Dr. Senti said that the ministerial team along with the district task force were regularly reviewing the hospital to ensure the status of preparation.
Responding to the apprehension among hospital staff about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), whose packaging have been dated January 2007 (lapse of 13 years), the official maintained that the consignment was ‘from the government of India with ISI mark’.
‘The effectiveness and quality of PPE can only be known when patients come in,’ he said. The doctor added that the NHAK had also decided to not simply rely on the government but make its own ‘indigenous’ protective gears to ensure preparedness.
Dr. Phyantsuthung further maintained that more than 300 PPE of different qualities were already in the hospital.
He added that the Police department had provided 3000 sets of raincoat fabric to the hospital.