SKIMS Soura, the largest tertiary care hospital here, has ordered closure of all non-emergency surgeries and admissions to carve space for the increasing load of COVID19 patients.
For now, Government said, no such move is planned for other tertiary care hospitals in Kashmir.
The order issued by Medical Superintendent SKIMS on 7 April reads, "All routine admissions are stopped immediately and only patients with emergent medical requirements will be admitted". The order has been issued "keeping in view of resurgence of COVID19". With its effect, all routine surgeries and procedures will be stopped immediately. The Medical Superintendent has also passed directions that any patient with an emergency would need to be cleared by his office before he or she is admitted.
The hospital, the largest super-specialty and tertiary care facility in J&K, will now allocate most of its space, in terms of wards and intensive care units, for COVID19 management. For the purpose, many wards of the hospital, with dedicated beds for various specialties, would be merged to vacate spaces for COVID19 patients.
A senior official said that the decision was taken after the Advisory Committee met recently and ordered that more than 250 oxygen beds would need to be created for the management of severe cases of SARS-CoV2. "Currently, at SKIMS, there are only 150 COVID19 beds," he said. Cancer patients, however, would continue to be catered to as usual.
Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said adequate space for managing sick patients suffering from COVID19 is being created at district levels. "In next fortnight, we will have oxygen plants ready at district hospital level and we may not require too many beds in our large hospitals," he said. He said the Government was duty-bound to cater to patients suffering from ailments other than COVID19 and was committed to keep health services running. "We are not planning to close down routine operations at other hospitals," he said. He however expressed concern over the increasing caseload in hospitals and said the situation was being "monitored closely". "Not everyone who tests positive for COVID19 requires admission and out of those that are admitted, not everyone needs oxygen," he said adding that rational use of space for all categories of patients was being planned.