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COVID hospital full; govt designates 2nd at Ponda

As Goa’s lone COVID-19 hospital packed to capacity at the backdrop of spike in cases, the government has designated sub-district hospital in Ponda as State’s second full-fledged hospital to accommodate new patients.

“During next 48 hours, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) and Goa Medical College (GMC) will take charge of the 220-bedded sub-district hospital. We have decided for two COVID-19 hospitals as there are spike in cases. We are taking all steps required to handle the rising cases,” Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said addressing a press conference in the capital on Sunday.

Rane said within 2 days, a dedicated floor will be assigned for all Ante-Natal, Neo-Natal & Post-Natal COVID patients at Sub-District Hospital Ponda, which will be jointly run by GMC & DHS. Our team is working towards commissioning all the facilities at the new South Goa District Hospital.

Once all the facilities are in place within 10 days as committed by GSIDC, we shall be shifting all the activities of Old Hospicio to new South Goa District Hospital. Post which, Old Hospicio will be dedicated to managing all Ante-natal & Post-Natal COVID patients.

Asked if the necessity arose due to full bed capacity at ESI Hospital, designated as Goa’s first COVID-19 hospital, the minister replied in positive. “We will not hide information. Yes, the present hospital is full in capacity which is why second hospital was needed. Nobody expected a spike of 506 cases but we are simultaneously working with the medical experts to tackle the situation,” he said urging people to strictly maintain all the health protocols to prevent spread of the disease.

The state has witnessed highest ever spike with 506 people testing positive for COVID-19 infection on a single day, on Sunday. Rane was talking to reporters after chairing marathon meetings with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, medical experts and bureaucrats to tackle the pandemic situation.

Rane further said that the plasma therapy treatment which has begun in the State is showing positive signs. “We have administered plasma therapy to ten patients, of whom, seven are showing signs of improvement. We will extend the treatment to more patients,” he added.

The minister urged recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma claiming these persons can donate plasma twice at a gap of 15 days. “We assure there won’t be any problem to one’s health in donating plasma,” he appealed. As on date, 39 recovered patients have donated their plasma.

Rane also rubbished that there is shortfall of medicines to treat COVID-19 in the State.

Pointing at long queues at the hospitals, Rane urged people to visit the government-run hospitals only in case of emergency. The government, he said, is also contemplating to suspend non-essential OPD at the hospital – another move to curb the rising spread of infection.

“People should come to the hospitals only in case of emergency situation. Postpone your schedule at the hospitals if it is not urgent,” he said.

The minister, while requesting people to follow all the health protocols such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks and restricting movement; took a potshot at the recently held night party at Arpora. “There are people partying. These are educated people…” an angry Rane commented.

With spurt in cases, the minister said that 60 days will be crucial for Goa while suggesting people to restrict their movement. “Cases are at peak. Some restrictions should be there,” he stated.

The antigen tests are now available at all hospitals, he added further stating that home isolation should be encouraged.

In a tweet after holding the press conference Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that head of departments of GMC are instructed to reduce OPD services in phased manner.

“To ensure smooth functioning of GMC amid rising cases in the state, we have instructed all HODs of GMC to reduce OPD services to the bare minimum with all non-essential services to be slowed down in a phased manner without affecting the essential and emergency services,” he posted. – Herald Goa

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