Coronavirus: Kashmir Hospitals Desperate To Improve Critical Requirements

SRINAGAR: Managers at the two main tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar have started working to improve the critical requirements that they may require in coming days. Though they have willing and highly motivated human resources that have proved its capacity at the peak of every crisis in last 30 years, they are facing an acute shortage of key equipment like the adequate number of ventilators.

Dr Samia Rashid

“We had a detailed meeting with MoS Jitendra Singh to discuss our preparedness against Coronavirus,” Dr Saima Rashid, who heads the Government Medical College in Srinagar and is the top decision-maker of the chain of associated hospitals in Srinagar was quoted by the Outlook says. “We highlighted the issue of the shortage of ventilators and Director NHM. We have been promised 40 high-end ventilators by the end of this month.”

Dr Saimaa also said that the GMC has received 1,00,000 triple-layer masks from JKMSCL and they will be distributed among associated hospitals judiciously. Singh told the meeting that the fight against Coronavirus is a shared responsibility.

Meanwhile, the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) has received 20 ventilators to augment its requirements. This is the first cache of the 50 machines that the hospital has recently ordered. All these machines would be installed in the 11-bed isolation ward. So far, SKIMS had only 38 ventilators. Its 20-bed quarantine block lacks any ventilator. One insider in the hospital said the hospital may have to improve its oxygen supply before installing the new ventilators.

Now the institute is considering ordering high-flow oxygen masks.

Even the Association Hospitals chain is also facing a crisis on ventilator front. It has a total of 33 ventilators and most of them are in use.

Director SKIMS Dr G A Ahangar

Earlier, the NHM Director, Bhupinder Kumar told Kashmir Life that the Jammu and Kashmir administration is purchasing 120 ventilators and the orders have been placed.

Ventilators are a key element in the battle against the Coronavirus. It is the only remedy that is put to use in serious cases. The other basic flu medicine. Masks are a key protection for everybody. Right now ventilators are in short supply because the entire world is witnessed an appetite for these machines.

The sudden surge for the ventilators has triggered a sort of scramble across the world. Though the Government of India has banned the export of any ventilators in the ongoing crisis and has asked a manufacturing company to double up the production, reports suggest the cancellation of international flights might create a problem of certain critical spears. India has slightly more than two ventilators available for a 100 thousand population against Italy having more than five.

The personal protective equipment (PPE), the suits that guard the medical staff against any infection is also in short supply, Though it is being manufactured in India, the section of the trade linked with it has alleged that the textile and health ministries did not take their desperate calls seriously since the middle of February. Now the manufacture is being increased to manage the surging demand.

The only facility that quickly came to Jammu and Kashmir was the upgrade of the laboratory facilities. Two laboratories, one each with GMC and SKIMS, were upgraded and both are doing fine. The GMC facility is located in the Chest Disease Hospital, Srinagar, which is currently managing the Coronavirus cases, if any. This is in addition to the SKIMS that has its own facilities both for isolation and quarantine.

Post Script

Earlier on March 20, briefing the Division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the government said they have identified 2000 quarantine beds, of which 900 are outside the hospitals. The response, filed by the Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education, in response to a PIL, said that they have 97,000 N95 masks available with the health authorities in the Union Territory as 130 thousand more are in the pipeline.

Besides, it said the UT government has 15,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) available with the department while order for one lakh has been issued already. Of them, 3,000 PPE’s are expected to e delivered within 10 days.

The report revealed that only 4,000 sanitizers are available with the health authorities while the delivery of 50,000 sanitizers is expected to be within a week. Besides, the government said that it has 1.25 lakh triple-layer masks available and 8,000 are in the process of being delivered. Pipeline.

The report, however, did not reveal the number of ventilators available across Jammu and Kashmir but asserted that orders have been issued for 100 more.


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