Pims limits entry of OPD patients after over 200 employees test Covid-19 positive

Published January 23, 2022
This file photo shows the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File
This file photo shows the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File

ISLAMABAD: While over 200 employees of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) are currently infected with Covid-19, the hospital administration has directed each of the outpatient departments (OPDs) to check a maximum of 100 patients daily.

A filter clinic has also been established outside the hospital to avoid entry of infected persons into the premises.

Moreover, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has been requested to provide 1,000 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits on a daily basis to the hospital.

On the other hand, doctors have said unvaccinated people should not be treated at the cost of healthcare workers.

The fifth wave has badly affected healthcare workers in the capital. Around 200 employees of Pims have tested positive out of which 30 are doctors. The staff has been blaming patients and their attendants for violating standard operating procedures (SOPs). Same is the situation at Polyclinic, National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and other hospitals.

Pims Joint Executive Director Dr Ejaz Qadeer told Dawn that the administration had decided to limit number of patients to 100 at each OPD.

“Doctors and nurses have been advised to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Luckily, all employees are vaccinated so we have not reported any casualty. We have established a filter clinic outside the hospital in which three doctors will be available to ensure suspected patients did not enter the building. We have also demanded 1,000 RAT kits from NCOC on a daily basis so that every suspected staff would immediately be separated from others,” he said.

A senior doctor of Pims, requesting not to be named, said like during the first and second waves there was a proposal to close OPDs but it was rejected because in case of closure majority of staff stopped coming to the hospital and the burden shifted to just a few doctors.

“So we decided to reduce the number of patients and their attendants to maintain social distancing,” he said.

Young Consultants Association Chairman Dr Asfandyar Khan said usually each OPD received 600 to 700 patients daily.

“The decision to limit the number to 100 patients will definitely reduce the chances of the disease’s spread. Moreover, we have decided that only one attendant will be allowed with each patient and if the patient can walk there is no need for the attendants.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022

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