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Existing BBCI patients to get therapy

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 9 - Though Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute here has been closed for new patients, chemotherapy and radio therapy for the existing patients will start from Monday, said the institute�s director Dr AC Kataki.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Dr Kataki said as treatment of the cancer patients cannot be overlooked, the institute has decided to carry on treatment of the existing patients from Monday. He said emergency services have been opened from today and treatment is also provided to 78 patients who are now admitted in the institute.

He said radiotherapy is given five days a week � from Monday to Friday, and the existing patients who have to get treatment would not suffer much. However, it is still not decided when the institute will be able to open the outpatient departments for treatment of new patients.

Dr Kataki said even during the lockdown period, the institute was providing chemotherapy and radio therapy, though the flow of patients came down by around 50 per cent as it was difficult for the patients to come to hospital.

Though treatment of the existing patients will resume, Dr Kataki admitted that the patients might have to face some difficulties as the institute would have to function with only around one-third staff. The quarters of the institute have been marked as containment zone after the death of a 16-year-old girl due to COVID-19 and a number of doctors, nurses and other staff would not be able to attend to their duties.

�Under the circumstances, the patients may have to face some problems and I appeal to all of them to bear with us in the troubled times. However, the institute will take all possible measures to reduce the hardship of the patients,� he added.

Another problem that the institute is facing is that in some places, the staff of the hospital are quarantined though they did not have any history of coming into contact with the teenage girl who died in a quarter of the hospital. This has also created a new problem and may result in severe shortage of staff.

Commenting on the death of the teenage girl, Dr Kataki said she was suffering from fever and was staying with her grandmother, who is a staff of the institute. As she was vomiting, her grandmother brought her to the BBCI where she was administered saline and when she died later, swab tests were carried out and the girl was found COVID-19 positive. Tests were also carried out on the doctors and nurses who came in contact with the girl. Dr Kataki clarified that the girl was not a cancer patient.

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