Close down COVID Care Centre at RIMS psychiatry ward: DESAM

The authority concerned should remove the centre immediately and allow the psychiatry ward to resume its normal functioning at the earliest, DESAM said.

Utilizing of RIMS psychiatry ward as a temporary dedicated COVID Care Centre must be stopped at the earliest, the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) has demanded.

Manipur is rated among the states with highest prevalence rate of mental illness cases. Disrupting the functioning of RIMS psychiatry ward in the view of COVID-19 pandemic by converting it into a COVID Care Centre is unfortunate, DESAM secretary general Leishangthem Lamyanba told reporters on Sunday.

The authority concerned should remove the centre immediately and allow the psychiatry ward to resume its normal functioning at the earliest, he added.

The DESAM leader said that since the utilization of psychiatry ward as a COVID Care Centre, the treatment of psychiatric patients is being managed at Dental College, RIMS. It has created issues to the patients and unable to give effective services to the patients, he added.

He said that mental illness cases are also increasing due to the prevailing pandemic. But on the contrary, the number of patients admitted in a day has been reduced to 30-40 from around 150-200 during pre-COVID days, he said.

 “Providing limited services due to unavoidable conditions is the root cause behind the widening of the treatment gap for mental illness patients from the past some days.  However, the present situation has led to a dire need for normal functioning of the psychiatry ward by removing the COVID Care Centre opened there,” he demanded.

Regarding the recent incident in which one health professional of RIMS tested positive for COVID-19, he said that the student body came to know from a higher source that around 2,000 substandard Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) are lying unused at RIMS. 

The health professionals of the institution may have contracted the virus after using the substandard PPEs, he said. The authority concerned should investigate whether the quality of PPE provided to health professionals are purchased per the funds allocated for buying them.

First Published: July 12, 2020, 9:13 p.m.