RIMS, JNIMS under strain as COVID-19 cases surge

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 4th Jun: As the number of positive cases continue to increase due to continuous return of stranded state natives from outside, both RIMS and JNIMS hospitals are facing a precarious situation due to infected persons outnumbering intake capacity of the COVID-19 facilities.
Despite enhancement in COVID-19 testing capacity to around 1,200 samples daily, the state government and test laboratories are under intense pressure as the gap between number of returnees and testing capacity continue to widen.
As of Wednesday, a total of 11,635 samples were tested at JNIMS and RIMS but 22,419 stranded state natives returned via train so far while an average of 300-500 people arrive into the state daily via air. In addition to the returnee state natives, more people are coming into the state daily and this has created backlog in COVID-19 test thereby entailing necessitating increase of testing capacity at the earliest.
The existing capacity of isolation ward for COVID-19 at RIMS is 50 including 10 ICU beds. Till Thursday, a total of 52 COVID-19 patients were admitted in this ward but 19 patients have been discharged so far and 33 patients are currently undergoing treatment. Similarly, existing capacity of COVID-19 isolation ward at JNIMS is 50 including 10 ICU beds. A total of 72 patients were admitted in this ward so far and 19 have been discharged. Till Thursday, a total of 53 COVID-19 patients are undergoing treatment at isolation ward of JNIMS thereby crossing the existing capacity.
Mention may be made that director (health & family welfare) Dr K Rajo had issued a circular on May 22 instructing CMOs and medical superintendents of Bishnupur, Chandel, Churachandpur, Jiribam, Senapati, Tamenglong, Thoubal and Ukhrul districts to arrange 30-bed capacity COVID-19 isolation ward at district/sub-district hospital.
State health department issued a guideline on May 24 that anyone who stayed 14 days in community quarantine centre may be discharged if he/she showed no COVID-19 symptoms but inmates at quarantine centres whose samples had been collected but awaiting results are reluctant return home. This led to surge in number of inmates at quarantine centres and consequently adding to problems at quarantine centres including food.
Till date, Manipur government is running 17 institutional quarantine centres and 770 community quarantine centres where returnees are being quarantined but more quarantine centres might be needed in the coming few days if testing capacity is not enhanced.


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