Manipur: All healthcare facilities told to reserve isolation areas for COVID-19 patients

In case, there is detection of a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 case in a non-COVID health facility, the hospitals are also instructed to perform life-saving or emergency procedures immediately if required by following COVID-19 preventive protocols, the state health department stated.

Observing that some patients are being denied treatment in non-COVID hospitals on suspicions of COVID-19 infection or confirmation of COVID-19, the Manipur Health department has instructed all healthcare facilities in the state to earmark COVID-19 isolation areas and to keep it in readiness at all times.

In case, there is detection of a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 case in a non-COVID health facility, the hospitals are also instructed to perform life-saving or emergency procedures immediately if required by following COVID-19 preventive protocols, stated a memorandum issued to all health institutions by the department on Thursday.

The memorandum states that each healthcare facility is also instructed to have an ambulance arrangement for transporting the COVID positive person to the COVID facility. The healthcare facilities should not leave any patient unattended under any circumstances, it stated.

The department also instructed that the COVID patients should be immediately isolated to another room (if currently being managed in a shared ward/room).

Principal secretary, Health and Family Welfare, V Vumlunmang notified that the instructions shall be strictly complied by all concerned and any violations will be viewed seriously and appropriate action will be initiated under relevant provisions of the Manipur Nursing Homes and Clinical Registration Act, 1992 and may lead to cancellation of registration.

Action may also be taken under the Disaster Management Act, 2020 for failure to comply with directions of the state government.

If the clinical status of the case permits, a COVID-19 positive case may be shifted to a COVID care facility at RIMS/JNIMS/COVID Care Centre (CCC), after confirming availability of bed from the state COVID Admissions Committee.

The hospitals are also instructed to follow appropriate precautions while transporting the patient and provide test results and case records to the receiving hospitals or the CCC. 

All contacts of the patient (other patients being managed in the same room or ward, healthcare workers who have attended the patient, support staff who may have come in close contact, caretaker/visitors etc.) should be quarantined and followed up for 14 days.

The details of people who have contact with the patients must also be shared with the government health authorities and it should be followed by disinfection procedures at the facility and the ambulance.

Denying treatment or proper care is causing considerable stress and hardship to patients in need of proper and timely medical care, and may even lead to avoidable loss of precious human lives. 

In view of the need to make healthcare accessible to all even amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued guidelines for hospitals and all related medical establishments, both in public and private sectors, to continue to remain functional.

Follow up instructions have also been issued by the Health department on August 6, 2020. Adequate COVID testing kits have been made available to private and government healthcare facilities, it stated.

On April 20, 2020, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry had issued guidelines to be followed on detection of suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases in a non-COVID Health Facility.

First Published:Aug. 20, 2020, 7:44 p.m.