KOLKATA: On the third day of its new assignment as tertiary-level Covid Hospital, Medical College Hospital Kolkata (MCHK) had 100 patients. Hospital sources said 80% of them are Covid positive patients while the rest are suspected cases, whose swab samples have been sent for testing. Most of the positive cases have been referred from other hospitals.
“Some of the referred patients include mothers, who have tested positive after childbirth in other hospitals. We have also created an isolation SNCU (sick newborn care unit) where the babies of positive mothers are being attended to,” said MCHK medical superintendent and vice principal (MSVP) Indranil Biswas.
The coordination between both public- and private-sector facilities needs to be seamless. Healthcare workers on the front-line need to be backed up with all the logistical support at our disposal to take care of the growing number of cases.
The hospital is also awaiting ICMR nod to start RT-PCR testing while its lab has already started testing swab samples through GeneExpert technology.
“Our technical team and the PWD workers are working on upgrading the laboratory on a war footing so we can start RT-PCR testing once we get the green signal from ICMR. Once the lab starts operating, we won’t have to send our samples to other facilities,” said a hospital source.
The lab testing through GeneExpert technique is also being used to test samples of patients from the hospital itself. But the capacity is only 20 samples a day. The RT-PCR lab will be able to run 100 samples a day but can be extended to 200 samples as the lab has got two such systems.
The hospital started functioning as a Covid hospital on May 7, a day after Mamata Banerjee tweeted of MCHK being designated as the first tertiary-level hospital in the state. Currently it is operating with 500 beds and has separate facility to treat both Covid and SARI (severe acute respiratory illness).
“We are prepared to increase the number of beds as and when required. We can expand it to around 1000 beds,” said the MSVP.
Though MCHK is a 2,200 bedded hospitals, due to the norms of distance between two beds and other requirement, sources said that at most the hospital can stretch its bed to strength to 1,000 for Covid patients. The hospital had already shifted few general patients, who were admitted to other hospitals.
Meanwhile, the state has directed all patients, who were availing OPD and patients who need hospital care, to RG Kar Medical College and Calcutta National Medical College.