All COVID-19 wards at JNIMS are full and overflowing with patients
JNIMS Imphal Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: The rapid rise of the COVID-19 positive cases have battered the healthcare system in Manipur with reports of several government-run hospitals in Imphal, including JNIMS, overflowing with COVID-19 patients, unable to provide enough beds and other facilities.

At Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), one of the premier state-run hospitals in Imphal, is unable to meet the demand for beds even as the healthcare workers scramble to attend to the far outnumbered patients, sources said.

On Monday, grim visuals of corridors packed with COVID-19 patients at JNIMS, Imphal, circulated on social media on a day when Manipur reported 424 new positive cases and 13 deaths due to COVID-19. Watch video here:

Sources inside JNIMS said the casualty department, the minor OT room and the corridors are all packed with COVID-19 patients, causing massive concern among healthcare workers, including nurses and doctors who are overloaded with work.

Speaking to EastMojo, medical superintendent of JNIMS Hospital, Dr Lokeshwor Singh, confirmed that the hospital’s COVID-19 ward with 130 beds and 18 Intensive Care Unit (ICUs) are packed to capacity.

“All COVID-19 wards at JNIMS are full and overflowing with patients,” JNIMS MS Dr Singh said.

Singh added that all treatment is free of cost as JNIMS is a government-run hospital.

“So, after people test positive for COVID-19 even at various testing centers, including private labs, they come here for treatment. We cannot accommodate every patient due to limited beds. At the same time, we cannot deny service to anybody,” he said.

“Everyone is rushing to the government hospitals without consulting their own screening points. This is what we are struggling with in Manipur at the moment,” Singh said.

Dr Singh said the hospital is planning to open one more block to treat COVID-19 patients to address the situation. “A meeting has been called today to discuss these issues,” he said.

According to Dr Singh, human resources is another obstacle the hospital is facing. “We cannot increase the number of nurses and doctors overnight as well as required infrastructure like oxygen and beds.”

With JNIMS overrun with COVID-19 patients, the authorities are now selecting the severe cases to give admission at their COVID-19 ward, and referring the asymptomatic cases to the various COVID-19 care centers.

“But the problem is they don’t want to go to those centers and there are apprehensions. We are trying to save their lives only and can’t really chase anyone out,” Dr Singh said.

There should be more awareness where such cases can also be treated at home by isolating themselves, he said. “We need to sensitise the public that they need to consult their local health workers or any healthcare center so the cases can be streamlined accordingly.”

Overwhelmed by the current situation, Dr Singh said that all patients cannot and should not rush to premier government hospitals. “There are many more districts government hospitals which can be utilised to address the current issue and anything which becomes serious can be referred to other premier government hospitals like JNIMS and RIMS,” he said.

On Monday, Manipur registered total confirmed COVID-19 positive cases at 35,778 with 424 new positives and 13 deaths. The cumulative number of persons who succumbed to the virus is 489 and 4,604 remain as active cases.

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