With cases surging, Gandhi Hospital stops all non-COVID services

Hyderabad: With the daily number of COVID-19 cases increasing exponentially, the state-run Gandhi Hospital will once again become a COVID-only treatment centre. Instructions were issued, based on directions from state secretary (health and family welfare), to all heads of department by the hospital’s superintendent on Friday to clear out all other patients who are currently undergoing treatment there.

The circular, issued by Dr. Raja Rao, superintendent, Gandhi hospital, said that all non-COVID and out-patient services are being halted in wake of the “rapid surge of COVID-19” cases that Telangana is currently witnessing. It added that only COVID-19 patients will be admitted in all wards in all departments. “The HODs from all the departments should prepare Duty Roster round the clock and should hand over to Deputy Superintendent” it added.

The circular also stated that all departments have to strictly comply with the orders. After the initial COVID-19 cases were reported in Telangana last year in March, Gandhi hospital was soon after turned into the nodal government hospital for treatment. It was the only centre for all COVID patients in the state. However, soon after cases began exploding last year, the Telangana government then began treating patients in other places as well.

Moreover, the government turning Gandhi Hospital into a COVID-only institution is also likely to anger some of the medical students who are currently doing their MBBS or masters at the Gandhi Medical College, as their courses will be affected. Last year, some of them even held protests and went on a strike to resume non-COVID services, after which the state complied.

However, now it is to be seen how long the state government continues to keep Gandhi Hospital as a COVID-only treatment centre. On Friday, Telangana also reported over 3,800 new COVID-19 cases, which have been increasing from the last 10 days or so. New cases first touched 100, and thereafter kept going higher and higher. Officials from the state health department have cautioned the general public to wear masks always.