Central team visits 'headless' JNIMS hospital
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, July 06 2021: State government's biggest hospital, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Porompat has started to face administrative issues at this time of Covid-19 pandemic as the post of director remains vacant for some time now.

According to sources, the tenure of former JNIMS director Dr Th Bhimo ended on June 30 and there has been no appointment made to replace for nearly a week, thus compelling the hospital to function without a head.

The state government had conducted a DPC on June 30 for appointment of a new director of the institution for which 10 candidates from RIMS, JNIMS and State Health Services had applied, but the results of the DPC have not been declared so far.

At present, no in-charge has been appointed for running the hospital, although JNIMS Society Executive Committee chairman and principal secretary (Health) is overseeing the day-to-day functioning of the hospital.

The central team headed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's Additional DDG Dr L Swasticharan, currently in the state to assist the government in containing the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, visited JNIMS and convened a meeting to ascertain the problems and measures taken by the hospital with regard to the pandemic.

However, as there was no director present during the meeting, immediate steps needed to be taken by the institute could not be finalised.

On the other hand, doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other staff of the institute who are fighting the pandemic have not received their salary on time due to the absence of the director.

Some of them have expressed apprehension that administrative JNIMS hospital issues may crop up and they may face difficulty in containing the pandemic if the post of the director remains vacant and no in-charge is appointed very soon.

On Monday, Dr L Swasticharan emphasised on conducting scientific analysis to prevent further Covid deaths.

Addressing a press meet held at the office premises of Health Services Directorate, Lamphel on Monday, Dr L Swasticharan recounted that the central team had also visited the state during the first wave to ascertain the Covid-19 status, apart from providing recommendations.

He informed that a check list had been sent to the Health Directorate, JNIMS and RIMS containing the details of the areas accessed and assessed during the first wave, post-Covid clinics during the second wave and arrangements for the third wave.

He then expressed satisfaction on receiving the feedback, which hinted at the sincere efforts of the authorities concerned.

"The health system works in limited capacity.

Anything over the capacity overwhelms the system making it lose control and resulting in a disaster.

Although the first wave was controlled successfully, the second wave got out of hands due to the various reasons including mutation of the virus strain, non-ad-herence to Covid appropriate behaviour, underestimation of the virus by the people after observing asymptomatic patients, etc," he observed.

Lauding the government for maintaining its earlier resolve from the first wave for an Integrated Covid Control Centre in coordination with stake holders; Dr L Swasticharan stressed the need for a scientific analysis of the data to discern whether it can be compatible with the community or not, errors in collection of data and how to rectify the same.

Additionally, ascertaining whether family members of Covid-affected persons are receptive to undergoing Covid-19 tests, their hesitancy and how the authority concerned could facilitate such issues and analysis of the same were already discussed previously.

Thus, focus should be given on this area during the second wave so as to discern the true cause behind the rising number of Covid-19 positive cases in the state, considering the fact that there are more testing facilities at present compared to the first wave, he remarked.

"In the state's context, government officials could focus on improving active contact tracing as it could help lower the positivity rate through timely treatment of the infected persons and preventing further spread.

Moreover, there is possibility of many suspected cases staying in home isolation with prior permission of the government and taking medicines prescribed for Covid patients without the mandatory tests, which is highly unscientific.

As such, home isolation cases need to be monitored along with improving quality of home isolation to reduce the mortality rate", he added.

Dr Swaticharan further stressed the need for studying the number of deaths occurring in a span of 24 hours.

The deaths are mostly due to delayed hospitalisation, medical advice from doctors, restricted movement, co-morbidities, etc.

A detailed analysis of the Covid-19 deaths is of utmost importance, he said, while also analysing the competencies of the health care teams of the hospitals concerned with regard to the same.

Emphasising the need to prevent Covid-19 deaths, the central team leader said that a committee should be formed to scientifically analyse the Covid-deaths which have occurred after 10-15 days of care.

He then wished for conduct of a detailed death analysis to ascertain whether the casualties are due to the natural process of the disease or lack of infection control by the hospitals concerned.

"It is quite possible that the third wave would not happen.

However, instead of waiting in fear of the arrival of the third wave, all must get vaccinated as it is only means of protection.

Instead of finding ways to avoid getting the vaccine, people should take the jab as soon as possible, in addition to strictly following safety protocols and self-monitoring to prevent the spread of the pandemic", Dr L Swasticharan said.

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