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Swine flu in Himachal : 2 more dead, toll rises to 13

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SHIMLA- Two more persons have succumbed to swine flu in Himachal Pradesh in the last 24 hours, taking the toll of disease related deaths to 13. A 76-year-old man died at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) here yesterday morning while a 37-year-old man died today. Both the deceased hailed from Sunni in Shimla district, 58-Km from here, he said. Eight persons died at the IGMC while five deaths took place at R P Medical College, Tanda (Kangra). Out of the total 227 samples, 63 have tested positive for H1N1 virus, while the reports of five samples sent today is yet to be received, the official said. ~ PTI

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Video: Patient at Shimla’s Covid-Care Facility Complains of Mismanagement, Spending from Pocket for Medicines

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shimla covid care hospital ayurvedic

Shimla-With visible stress on Himachal Pradesh’s health system, like the rest of the nation, complaints regarding the mismanagement are appearing. Delay in reports of RC-PTR reports is a common grievance. On May 10, a family alleged that their kin died as 108 ambulances run out of oxygen while on the way to the hospital. Earlier, a woman who was referred from Kinnaur allegedly died due to a delay of five hours in admission to the DDU hospital. 

A Covid-19 patient admitted to the dedicated Covid care facility Ayurvedic Hospital, Chhota Shimla, in Shimla city, complained that the staff wasn’t co-operative and that doctors did not monitor him regularly.

Sanjay Shah, a resident of Bihar, alleged that he had tested positive on April 24, 2021, at the Indira Gandhi Medical College. He was referred to the DDU Covid-care hospital where he remained admitted for 11 days. The doctors at the DDU discharged him after 11 days and referred him to the Ayurvedic covid-care hospital.

Through a fellow patient, he recorded a video explaining his complaint and shared it with Himachal Watcher.

He alleged that he is being asked to arrange expensive medicine from private medical stores. He said an acquaintance of his borrowed money and arranged the said medicines. He also shared a photo of the bill.

covid 19 complaints from himachal pradesh

Bill of medicines that the patient had to buy from private medical store

“They conducted a medical check-up and asked me to arrange some medicine, which cost me nearly Rs. 4000. I had no money and my acquaintances are bearing expenses of my treatment by borrowing from others. But I wasn’t told as to why these medicines were needed and what treatment he was receiving,” Sanjay said.

“I am tired. It’s been 17 days” he said.

He also complained that doctors rarely visit him for checkups.

While using the washroom, he carries his IV stand along with him, which he said is very cumbersome.  

He said all he wants is that doctors visit him daily and that he should be informed properly about the treatment and the use of medicines for which he had to pay from his pocket.

When inquired regarding this complaint, the Medical Superintendent, Ayurvedic hospital, told Himachal Watcher that Shah was being administered anti-biotics through IV, but now he is being given the oral doses.

Regarding the complaint about the availability of doctors and regular check-ups, the MS said that this hospital is more of a step-down facility for Covid-19 patients and consultations regarding the cases is undertaken from a panel of specialists at the IGMC Shimla through a ‘WhatsApp’ group. If required, the patients are referred to DDU or IGMC, he said.

On being asked about the medicines Shah was asked to arrange, the MS said that the IGMC panel sometimes prescribe medicines that are not available in our stock or the IGMC. In this condition, the patient is asked to buy these medicines from private medical stores.

When asked as to how Shah arranges medicine from outside the hospital, the MS had no clear answer.

On being asked about Shah’s complaint regarding the inconsistent visit of doctors, the MS said that all staff wears PPE kits, which makes it hard for patients to recognize who visited the ward.

On the number of patients at the facility and staff on duty, the MS informed that the recurrently are a total of 21 patients at the facilities. The staff is working 24×7 in three shifts. In each shift, at least one doctor, a pharmacist, a nurse, and two Class IV employees remain available.

Regarding action on complaints, the MS said that very recently a pharmacist had created a scene as he refused entering the ward. An action was taken against him, he said.

Earlier, a resident of Chhota Shimla had alleged that his mother was denied admission to the facility despite her condition being critical due to low oxygen saturation. He had to make arrangements for oxygen support at the home with the help of an NGO.

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Himachal Reports Spike in Covid Casualties with 64 Deaths in 24-hours; 4,977 Fresh Infections Reported

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh reported a surge in Covid-19 fatalities on Tuesday as 64 people died due to the infection, while 4,977 new cases were reported within the last 24 hours. This takes the death toll to 1,989 while the total cases of coronavirus in the state till now to 1,40,759.

Out of 64 dead, only 11 patients had comorbidities. While thirteen patients were below the age of 50. This indicates the aggressive nature of the new variant of coronavirus that has been ravaging the country. The highest casualties were reported from Kangra district with 21 deaths while Solan district reported 12 deaths followed by Mandi district with 10 fatalities.

As the fatalities are increasing across the state, the sampling of infection has still not touched even the 20,000 mark. On Tuesday 14,722 people were sampled while 3,713 tests remain awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 11, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

hp health dpt

Out of 2,445 beds available across the state in the Covid hospitals, only 63 ICU beds are available. While 415 beds have oxygen support.

On Tuesday the state government also issued a notification announcing that health workers who have received both the Covid vaccine shots will not have to follow the quarantine protocol after rendering their services in health care facilities.

On the condition of anonymity, a health official told Himachal Watcher that Himachal Medical Officers Association (HMOA) has opposed this move as cases of infection despite vaccination continue to appear.

The spike in Covid cases across the state has highlighted the shortage of healthcare workers in the state as medical infrastructure moves toward the brink of a formidable caseload.

Further, the state needs to consider the meagre incentives the frontline workers are receiving and the overwhelming effect it will have on their mental and physical health.

Himachal is currently under a corona curfew with restrictions on interstate movement. But the government maintains that it’s not a lockdown as some exceptions have been included in the activities to be allowed.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 11, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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Shimla City’s Sanitation Worker Dies of Covid-19, Demand Raised to Pay Rs. 50 Lakh Ex-Gratia as Assured to All Frontline Workers  

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Shimla– Sanitation workers/garbage collectors in Himachal Pradesh are among the frontline workers who had been performing their duties unabated regardless of lockdowns. Right from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, sanitation workers have been playing their part in combating it. The pandemic has grown deadlier this year with its second wave. Sanitation workers and garbage-collectors are at higher risk of contracting the infection due to the nature of their job. 

One of these sanitation workers, Sun Kumar, working under the Shimla Environment, Heritage & Beautification Society (SHEB) as a garbage collector, succumbed to Covid-19.

He was about 32-year-old and is survived by a wife and an infant. Demand has been raised to pay Rs. 50 lakh as Ex-Gratia and job to a family member. When the concerned authority was asked regarding the same, it said a request has been forwarded to higher officials for the Ex-Gratia and situation would be clear only after their approval. 

The former mayor of Shimla, Sanjay Chauhan, was one of those raising this demand.

“The city didn’t lose a sanitation worker but a Covid warrior due to the coronavirus,” he said in a statement released today.

“The government has recognized sanitation workers as frontline workers and had decided to pay Rs. 50 as Ex-Gratia to any such worker who dies on duty. So, the family should be paid the said amount at the earliest along with ensuring employment to one of the family members,” he demanded.

Pertinent to mention that on April 23, 2020, the Himachal Pradesh Government had announced that a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs would be paid as Ex-Gratia out of HPSDMA COVID-19 State Disaster Response Fund to the next of kin of those officers and officials working in the State Government (except health workers) i.e. regular, outsourced, contractual, daily wagers and employees of SEHB Society of Municipal Corporation Shimla engaged in sanitation activities and working in different capacities for the response, relief and containment measures of COVID-19, in case of their death due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Chauhan further appealed to the state government to provide high-quality PPE kits to all the frontline workers of various departments deployed on the Covid duty. He also demanded that the Municipal Corporation, Shimla, should also ensure regular health checkups of its employees to prevent any further loss of lives.   

The state on 17th January 2021 had vaccinated Hardeep Singh, a sanitation worker at the Indira Gandhi Medical Collage & Hospital, Shimla. He was the first person in Himachal to get the vaccine jab. Also, sanitation workers were also honoured last year and certificates of appreciation were given to workers of wards number 16 and 17. 

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