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Management of Covid Care Centre Kohima under scanner

By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jun 06, 2021 11:57 pm

Our Correspondent
Kohima, June 6 (EMN):
Covid Care Centre in Kohima has once again come under the scanner as allegations of poor management from the authorities and unruly behaviour of inmates have surfaced following complaints from people who had stayed at the centre.

A 22-year-old woman, who recently got discharged from the Covid Care Centre at Meriema in Kohima, told Eastern Mirror that inmates flout Covid norms and socialise in the facility, ‘which is supposed to emphasise on proper Covid-appropriate behaviour.’

She said that patients ‘socialise in groups, often play cards and some even get drunk, while some visit rooms to purchase tobacco products,’ which were brought in from outside to the centre.

‘Some patients receive those substances from outsiders at the gate and in turn they sell such products to other fellow patients in their rooms,’ she said.

The source also revealed that patients at the Covid Care Centre loiter around freely without even wearing masks and that social distancing norms were not emphasised at all. She claimed that not a ‘single hand sanitiser is available even at the place where medical personnel examine the patients before being discharged’.

She said that the management didn’t give necessary instructions to maintain discipline or observe Covid norms within the facility.

Another inmate, a 19-year-old man who was also recently discharged from the centre, told this newspaper that he had seen people buying tobacco products next to his room at the same Covid Care Centre.

“I saw patients selling tobacco products like talab pan masala, shikhar gutkha to other patients,” he said.

He also shared about some patients who got drunk and made noises often after 9 pm in other rooms nearby.

“Those who sell the booze would also drink and get drunk and make noise,” he added.

The youth also claimed that a police personnel deployed at the facility had directed a fellow patient towards a room where tobacco products were sold.

Expressing concern, a medical practitioner said that if patients are allowed to mingle, it would only create more room for infections adding that no one can observe quarantine or undergo any isolation in such a situation at government designated Covid Care Centres.

“Even after getting tested positive initially, some patients may become negative after a few days at any point of time,” he said. ‘However, clubbing patients together will only make those recoverable patients more prone to infections,’ he cautioned.

The doctor also observed that this year, no preventive measures have been taken up by the government, adding that there were no quarantine centres being set up to tackle Covid.

“For pandemics, quarantine and isolation is absolutely vital,” he said.

He also stated that public education on the pandemic disease is lacking and slammed the Health department for not providing specific information on Covid-19 issue.

‘They only give updates on Covid-19 related mortality, instilling more fear into the minds of the people instead of educating the public on the matters pertaining to Covid-19,’ he said.

“They (Health department) are not doing anything to educate the public on the pandemic which is of utmost importance,” the doctor reiterated.

“How can you challenge the pandemic just by saying you have this much oxygen and that much ICU beds?

“They are asking for disaster,” he cautioned, adding, “The pandemic is bound to spread,” if the government continues to remain complacent about Covid and fail to take necessary steps to prevent the infections.

Meanwhile, when Eastern Mirror spoke to a medical officer at Covid Care Centre, Meriema, it was informed that they were ‘not aware’ about such activities going on inside the blocks of the patients where they are being quarantined.

When queried about the availability of liquor and tobacco products inside the centre, he claimed that ‘some close ones’ of the patients must be dropping such substances on the pretext of dropping essential items at the gate.

‘We have been telling the security personnel to check over the food items being delivered to the patients. However, they also tend to feel hesitant for fear of contracting the virus,’ the doctor said.

‘We don’t go and check those items packed in boxes since it is the duty of the police personnel,’ the medical officer added.

Unlike last year, inmates are not provided any free breakfast, lunch or dinner by the state government this time. ‘We cannot stop people from coming to the vicinity of the Covid Care Centre, which is not like a prison, because they bring food items to the patients,’ the doctor said.

He also observed that it might be a challenging task even for the police personnel to keep checking every item being brought one by one.

‘The inmates call their friends over the phone to drop their items at the gate,’ he informed, adding that, “things are little relaxed this time”.

The medical officer however said that he would approach the police regarding the issue and also caution the inmates to refrain from breaking Covid-19 norms.

No retest needed for discharge

Meanwhile, the department of Health and Family Welfare issued a revised discharge protocol for Covid-19 cases in Nagaland in tune with the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Asymptomatic cases

Patients having completed 10 days from the day of sample collection and remains asymptomatic can be discharged without a retest for home isolation/ facility unless the patient is immunocompromised. If immunocompromised, the patient will be tested 10 days from the day of first sample collection by RT-PCR/ TrueNat/ CBNAAT. If positive, retest can be done after a gap of three days.

Mild/Moderate symptomatic cases

Patients having completed 10 days after symptom onset and no fever for the last three days can be discharged without retest for home isolation/ facility unless the patient is immunocompromised. Oxygen saturation has to be maintained for three consecutive days. One negative RT PCR/ TrueNat/ CBNAAT, for which sample will be collected when clinical discharge criteria is met. If positive, retest can be done after three days.

Severe cases
  1. Resolution of clinical symptoms.
  2. One negative RT PCR/ TrueNat/ CBNAAT, for which sample will be collected after clinical recovery.
  3. If positive, retest can be done after three days.
By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jun 06, 2021 11:57:59 pm