Many hospitals in Delhi have instructed their heads of department to strictly follow Covid guidelines, including wearing masks and using sanitisers, amid concerns over surge in coronavirus cases in some countries
The hospital said they have braced themselves for any eventuality.
The two waves of COVID-19 were a learning experience for hospitals in terms of bringing about infrastructural changes, but the medical facilities now assert that they are fully prepared in case the BF.7 variant triggers a surge.
On Thursday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held an emergency meeting over the Covid situation, amid a surge triggered due to the BF.7 variant of the virus in some countries such as China and the US. India has also reported some cases of the variant, although no such case has been registered in the national capital.
The medical director of state-run LNJP Hospital, Suresh Kumar, said the hospital currently has 450 dedicated Covid beds, including 50 ICU beds.
"We have a genome sequencing lab at the hospital. Covid is not over yet but at the same time we are fully prepared," he added.
The Centre-run RML Hospital is motivating patients and their relatives to follow Covid appropriate behaviour, said Nandini Duggal, medical superintendent of the hospital.
"In view of the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases (in other countries), the hospital has decided to implement all precautionary measures specially wearing mask, frequent hand washing and use of sanitizer,and social distancing strictly. All HOD's have been instructed to implement the guidelines strictly in their departments and to motivate the public and patients to adhere to these protective measures.
"Posters will be installed at public areas for social awareness regarding the same," she added.
The senior doctor asserted that the hospital is geared up to face the challenges -- in terms of beds, equipment, oxygen supply and medicines.
Echoing similar views, Dr Neeraj Gupta, professor in the Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, said they have adequate preparations in place in terms of isolation beds, manpower, oxygen supply and required PPEs to face any upsurge of Covid cases.
Private hospitals also said they are prepared for any eventuality.
Dr Charu Goel Sachdeva, HOD and Consultant Internal Medicine, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, said there is no need to panic at the moment, since people have good immunity and the vaccination status in the country has been steady.
"Our situation is quite different from China where they are observing a zero Covid policy for quite some time and once this was reversed, people started getting exposure to this infection which they were not exposed to earlier.
"The infection has taken a very severe form just like the delta variant that we faced in 2021. Yes, there is no need to panic but we have to be alert. The government is gearing up its preparedness to handle this situation. We as a hospital and our healthcare workers are all geared up. However, we are still waiting for the final guidelines to come but in terms of our preparation, we will keep rooms prepared where we have to admit COVID-19 patients and we will ensure that we have all the drugs, enough oxygen, and ambulances are geared up," she added.
Similarly, Dr Bishnu Panigrahi, Group Head, Medical Strategy and Operations, Fortis Healthcare, said the hospital made quite a few infrastructural additions across the country, in terms of augmenting oxygen supply, and other aspects.
"We had set up oxygen plants in our hospitals in Delhi-NCR and many of our facilities in other cities. These have led to a reduction of our dependence on liquid medical oxygen. We had also set up an expert group comprising senior clinicians who would meet every week to discussing measures in accordance with the guidelines by the Centre," he added.
However, he said that they do not anticipate a surge in India.