Srinagar: The Out-Patient Department (OPDs) and In-Patient Department (IPDs) in Kashmir hospitals would continue to remain functional under SOPs, as a sudden closure would create chaos in health scenario across the Valley.
This was stated by Director Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference at the Old Secretariat complex in Srinagar, the Director Health said that the decision about the suspension of such facilities would only be taken after a proper assessment of the health scenario here.
“We have COVID dedicated hospitals besides that our specialised COVID dedicated DRDO hospital is also there to cater to such COVID patients,” the Director said. “We will only take the decision of closure of OPDs only after doing a ground assessment in our hospitals as more than 50 per cent of beds in our hospitals are still free,” he said.
He said that both COVID and non-COVID activities at the hospitals across Kashmir will function normally. The hurriedly called presser was scheduled after major confusion prevailed among people over the suspension of OPDs, IPDs in the Kashmir hospitals. The Director responded that there is confusion among the masses that a direction has been issued by the government with regard to the suspension of OPDs and IPDs at the hospitals.
“I want to make it clear that there is no such order from the government; rather, it is confusing due to the minutes of the meetings. But, the fact is we have already approached the higher-ups in this regard and have sought continuous functioning of the OPDs, IPDs and the conduct of surgeries as well,” he said, adding that the facilities would continue to function normally until the 50 per cent beds are occupied at the hospitals.
He further said as the third COVID-19 wave has started, most of the cases would remain in home isolation only as mainly the infected cases are either asymptomatic or mild infectious.
As Kashmir is witnessing a sharp increase in Omicron COVID-19 cases, the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) earlier issued COVlD-l9 SOPs, guidelines for Kashmir hospitals- asking patients to undergo RAT before entering hospitals.
The Directorate in an official communique said that in view of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases across India and detection of some cases of Omicron in Jammu and Kashmir as well, “all the Chief Medical Officers, Medical Superintendents, Block Medical Officers are enjoined upon to get COVID-19 SOPs, guidelines properly implemented in all the health care institutions falling under their administrative control.”
Meanwhile, the Director told reporters that as per the directions of the Additional Chief Secretary Health and Medical Education, Vivek Bhardwaj, he has come forward to make people aware of the fact that most cases at present are either asymptomatic or having mild symptoms, thus will go in home-isolation mostly.
“This wave as per the experts would remain mild to moderate only,” he said. “All the necessary arrangements have been put in place to tackle any emerging situation.”
The Director, while holding a detailed advertisement, informed that the infected persons have been asked to take care of six Ms while in home isolation, which includes Mixing, Monitoring, Medicines, Meals, Mindset and Activity and Movement towards the hospital. He said that the persons who are tested positive should follow these protocols for next eight days to ensure that the COVID is prevented from spreading and shouldn’t rush to tertiary-care hospitals which would create chaos amid the current situation.