SIVASAGAR, March 29 - The Sivasagar Medical Department is facing a daunting task in screening and identifying coronavirus infection among scores of people who have returned from other States where the pandemic has already affected large numbers.
Dr Rajiv Baruah, Superintendent, Sivasagar Civil Hospital, told this correspondent recently that the system of identifying affected ones is in fact the reverse one. He said that the possible carriers or people returning from affected areas must stay where they are. They should inform the nearest primary health centre. The surveillance team from the PHC would collect necessary blood samples from them. The suspected persons should not move around at all as it would increase risk of exposure to others including the medical fraternity. Fortunately, none of the nine samples sent from the hospital have been found to be positive, Dr Baruah said.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal accompanied by the Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management Jogen Mohan, in charge of the district visited Sivasagar and took stock of the situation a couple of days back, following the announcement of a nationwide lockout in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. The Sivasagar district administration has undertaken unprecedented precautionary measures against the pandemic.
The Chief Minister discussed threadbare the situation with the Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner Lakhinandan Gogoi, DDC Al Azahar Ali, SP, Jt Director Health Services, Dr DM Sarma and District Surveillance Team Nodal Officer Dr Hemanta Baruah and other senior district officers about the steps taken by the district administration in sending the right message to the public and the restrictions imposed on public movement to cope with any probable situation.
The Ministers visited Sivasagar Civil Hospital and Saulung Sukapha Multi-speciality Hospital at Rajabari to oversee the preparations and found them to be satisfactory.
Healthcare officials in undivided Sivasagar district are doing the rounds to prepare the department for all eventualities in the wake of dreaded COVID-19 outbreak. Dr Hemanta Baruah, incharge, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, informed that his team was bracing up to cope with any situation that may arise. Talking to this correspondent at Khemka Maternity Hospital at Doulmukh Chariali recently, Dr Baruah said that his staff is working hard to arrange for at least 200 isolation cabins and the necessary quarantine houses in all the hospitals in the district as most of the hospitals lack the necessary infrastructure.
He said that the major burden will be shouldered by the Sivasagar Civil Hospital, Sukapha Super Speciality Hospital, Urban Model Hospital, Nazira and Sonari Civil Hospitals, ONGC Hospital, Ligiripukhuri Hospital and the CHCs at different places.
Quarantine facility is being arranged at Saulung Sukapha Indoor Stadium (50 nos), Hotel Brahmaputra (40 nos), Civil Hospital (15 nos) and Urban Medical Centre (30 nos). The hotels and the tea estate hospitals have also been asked by the Deputy Commissioner to be prepared to accommodate patients if needed.
The management of all the 29 tea estates volunteered to cooperate with the medical fraternity in this period of national disaster.
Dr Hemanta Baruah informed that a section of unscrupulous suppliers of medical equipment have been charging exorbitant amounts for thermal scanners. The price of a scanner has gone upto Rs 12,000 here whereas the actual price should be Rs 2500.
The Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner, Lakhinandan Gogoi and Demow RCO, Indica Gogoi recently visited the hostels of the ITI, Demow at Baruah Changmaigaon and suggested keeping 80 beds for isolation out of a total of 200 the administration requires.