Updated 15 May 2021, 5:28 pm
In the wake of the alarming surge in COVID-19 infection and fatality, Kangpokpi district in Manipur has been facing shortage of human resources, infrastructure, and medical equipment, including oxygen cylinders. The lack of medical aid and shortage of manpower may result in more COVID fatality in the district as one more patient from the district succumbed to the disease early Saturday, taking the death toll to 22.
The deceased, one 60-year-old Raisong Sonba, hailed from Lungtaimai Colony, T Khullen village. He was taken to Peace Hospital and Research Institute, Porompat Imphal with fever, cough and shortness of breath on May 13. He was tested positive for COVID-19 and referred to a higher centre.
He was later admitted at Covid Care Centre, Leikop in Kangpokpi district due to non availability of beds in Imphal the same afternoon at around 5.30 pm. He succumbed to the dreaded COVID-19 at around 4.30 am Saturday. The deceased was a patient with comorbidities, suffering from heart disease. He was buried at T Khullen village cemetery following strict protocols.
Meanwhile, infection of COVID-19 in the district continues to surge as positive cases are being detected everyday in the district. With eight persons detected positive on Saturday, the number of active case in the district stands at 87 after five patients have been cured and discharged on Saturday. At present, there are nine patients admitted at COVID Care Centre, Leikop.
Shortage of medical aid
Kangpokpi district has been facing shortage of resources, infrastructure, and equipment including oxygen cylinders. According to the sources in the District Hospital , there are only 28 oxygen cylinders, including 16 D-type and 12 B-type with two oxygen concentrators and two ventilators.
Of the 28 oxygen cylinders, five D-type and four B-type oxygen cylinders are filled as of now while the only two available ventilators are not working properly.
Considering the alarming surge of infection, the available oxygen cylinders will be too less to cater to the increasing number of positive patients which could lead to more fatality in the district.
With only nine patients admitted currently at the Covid Care Centre, the available oxygen cylinder has on several occasions almost reportedly failed to meet the needs of the patients. If more patients were admitted, then problems will be inevitable which may also become a major factor for further fatality.
Lack of manpower
Apart from shortage of oxygen cylinder, oxygen concentrator and ventilators, there is also acute shortage of manpower in respect of doctors and nurses at Covid Care Centre.
Recently, two new doctors have been reported recruited as per government direction. Till then, medical officers from various health centres in the district were assigned duty on roster basis and they are managing the Covid Care Centre till date.
However, only two doctors, two nurses and two multi-tasking staff at the Covid Care Centre are too few to manage the centre, considering the alarming surge of infection and the already insufficient manpower.
The state government had recruited 70 doctors last year and 151 doctors this year to attend the Covid Care Centres but only two doctors were sanctioned for Kangpokpi district.
One post of anaesthesia and medicine specialist has been lying vacant till date in the district hospital though the role of anaesthesia and medicine doctors is very much vital during this pandemic.
Considering the non availability of beds in the state capital and the alarming surge of infection in the district, the Covid Care Centre could face tremendous hardships in managing the centre with such less doctors and nurses which could eventually lead to disaster.
So far, with the exemplary management of oxygen on the part of the logistic department and doctors, no patients have encountered any issue related to oxygen till now but if the infection trend continues to rise further, shortage of oxygen and manpower will definitely become a major factor for more fatalities in the district.
First published:15 May 2021, 5:22 pm
kangpokpicovid care centrecovid-19 deathsoxygen
IFP Correspondent, KANGPOKPI