Gangtok: Ninety-seven of the hundred beds at the Central Referral Hospital, the only private hospital catering to COVID 19 in Sikkim, are now occupied. Initially, the state government and CRH management had notified 100 beds for the hospital to tackle the pandemic. In 13 days, it has reached its maximum occupancy, with 97 patients admitted currently.

Upon inquiry by EastMojo, Medical Superintendent Dr Yogesh Verma informed that 50 more beds would be added on the 9th floor. Till now, the 7th and 8th floors of the hospital were being used for COVID 19 patients. “We have not reached full capacity. The numbers are changing every minute, we will be activating more wards from tomorrow. We have considered level 9 and some more in level 7, all these floors or the next floor has ICU facility. Level 9 is also a proper setting, where we can create an ICU,” he said.

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Dr Verma admitted workforce is a challenge with a private hospital and a self-contained environment. “It has not gone out of hand, we are adding workforce from other areas, be it the medical college or pre-clinical or para-clinical sections. There are sections where only triaging is taking place, we are utilising their service along with nursing college and physiotherapy units. The critical sections, where doctors are needed, are being utilised. We need most of our workforce as boots on the ground. There is an understanding of the virus now.”

The Medical Superintendent admitted that three nurses tested positive recently along with a few doctors, which he claimed, “was expected with one or two cases every once in a while with the whole hospital engaged in some form of the other”.

On food concerns for patients, the doctor highlighted that not all patients are critical, and they still can take food from the home of their choice. “But we prefer people take good from the hospital, which is palatable,” he added.

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