JN.1 virus in Delhi: AIIMS sets aside 48 rooms for isolation, treatment

- December 29, 2023
| By : Muhammad Tahir |

The premier medical institute has set up a Covid screening department and put together resources to deal with all possible contingencies even as doctors say there is no cause for alarm from the new strain

File Photo/Getty

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has set up a Covid screening Outpatient Department (OPD) in the emergency section on sixth floor after the national capital reported the first case of Covid-19 sub-variant JN.1, which has witnessed an unexpected spike across the country.

Following a meeting with heads of departments, AIIMS Delhi Director, issued a memorandum on Wednesday, which stated, “12 beds in the C6 ward will be earmarked for hospitalization of seriously ill COVID-19 patients.”

The memorandum added, “A screening OPD in the Emergency Department will screen patients for COVID-like symptoms and triage them based on medical requirements.”

Until the evening of December 28, two Covid patients — a male and a female — were admitted to the ward and were being treated by a doctor.

A lady doctor who was on duty beside the Covid ward said, “There are 2 patients in the ward. The risk of covid is to those who are already suffering comorbidities such as diabetes.”

When asked about the safety precautions during treatment, she said, “We are taking extra care like wearing gowns, masks among other things during duty.”

Despite the doctor saying this, Patriot noticed that patients lacked awareness and were not taking precautions. Only a couple of patients were wearing masks inside the hospital or even in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Some of the doctors were also without masks.

A nursing officer, who was wearing a gown, said about Covid preparation in AIIMS, “New private buildings at AIIMS have been allotted to Covid patients. On the ground floor [of a three-storeyed building) 48 rooms are being cleaned with toilets and other facilities also being set up. If the situation gets tough then Covid patients will be admitted here. There will be one patient in one room and kept in isolation. If this does not prove to be enough, another floor will be allotted.”

In case their condition aggravates, patients will be shifted to the emergency ward in the main building.

The official memorandum also added, “Rooms No. 1 to 12 in the new private ward are to be earmarked for hospitalisation of Covid-affected EHS (Employee Health Scheme) beneficiaries.”

The officer said further, “It depends on the type of Covid patient. Some patients have no symptoms, but after diagnosis they are found to be Covid positive. Chances of it becoming a wave this time isn’t very high because people have already taken vaccines.

“No roster for doctor’s Covid duty has yet been made because it will be made according to the intensity. But we are fully prepared.”

Patients being treated at the COVID ward in AIIMS

AIIMS media coordinator Rajeev Maikhuri, told Patriot, “MS (Medical Superintendent) has issued a circular regarding this. It is in public domain.”

On Wednesday, Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj announced that the city has reported its first case of the coronavirus sub-variant JN.1.

Delhi government has also started keeping an eye on the new variant JN.1.

Bharadwaj on Thursday visited Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital to assess the preparedness. He advised hospitals and citizens to be cautious.

According to data shared by the Union Health Ministry, India reported a record 4,091 active Covid cases and five deaths on Friday.