Published on April 5, 2021

AHMEDABAD: It’s yet another day for the 700-odd staff members on a scorching Sunday afternoon as three ambulances bring in three ‘Covid-19 suspect’ patients outside 1,200-bed hospital on Civil Hospital campus. The stream of patients — both confirmed and suspect — continues as 120-odd patients get admitted to the hospital in less than 24 hours.

In two days, the hospital — the biggest Covid-19 treatment centre in Gujarat — will complete a year of operations. While the facility started admitted women and children again for a couple of weeks due to dip in cases, it has over 700 Covid-19 patients now.

This time, the challenge is the new symptoms and another spike. Dr Kartikeya Parmar, in-charge of the hospital, said that the patients are also coming with not-so-textbook symptoms such as upset stomach, diarrhoea and severe body ache. “In recent days, we have also reported incessant coughing as a dominant symptom which is irrepressible in some patients,” said Dr Parmar. In private hospitals too, the ‘new symptoms’ are witnessed.

Dr Nirav Visavadia, a city-based critical care physician, said that diarrhoea was seen in earlier phases, too. “What we are witnessing now are symptoms such as conjunctivitis and fatigue or weakness without any classical symptoms. Thus, we advise citizens to get themselves tested if they suffer from any unusual health issues and not ignore it,” he said, adding that Covid-19 can manifest in many ways.

Dr J P Modi, medical superintendent of Civil Hospital, said that the hospital has so far treated over 22,000 Covid-19 patients and also handled over 55,000 OPDs. “The biggest takeaway for us from the year is to be prepared and put the SOPs in place. For the entire staff, it was learning on the go right from patient management to management of relatives, staff and outside stakeholders,” he said, adding that the staff is more confident now of handling the pandemic.

Dr Rakesh Joshi and Dr Rajnish Patel, additional medical superintends, said that the experience of the hospital also helped other hospitals in Ahmedabad and other parts of the state. They added that it was not just Covid-19 as the hospital also had to treat existing patients and those with Covid-19 and other conditions such as pregnancy, heart ailment, kidney disease, etc.

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