Ground-level works led by Chief Medical Superintendent Dr. Meera Patil
Mysore/Mysuru: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” a quote attributed to Philosopher-Statesman Benjamin Franklin, could not have been more appropriate than now as the world is grappling with the scourge of Coronavirus.
The Indian Railways has massively contributed to the battle against COVID-19 pandemic — be it the conversion of nearly 5,000 passenger coaches as Isolation Wards or the large-scale in-house production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline medical and healthcare personnel or maintaining supply chain intact through the movement of essential commodities by freight trains to the remote corners of the country.
When the mantle of responsibility fell on the Railway Hospital, Mysuru, to support the District Administration in management of the COVID-19, the Mysuru Division wasted no time in creating a 10-bedded Isolation Ward for COVID-19 patients besides earmarking another 64 beds for exclusive use of suspected Coronavirus cases duly separating them from non-COVID-19 patients as a precaution to prevent spread of possible infections.
The ground-level works at the Railway Hospital were led by Dr. Meera Patil, Chief Medical Superintendent, South Western Railway Hospital. Dr. Meera joined Indian Railway Medical Services in 1987 as a Specialised Paediatrician and she holds a Post-Graduation Diploma in Child Health from Bengaluru Medical College (BMC).
“Time is of essence in delivery of critical health care services,” said Dr. Meera Patil while highlighting the fact that protecting her team of healthcare professionals was also equally important.
Sensing the importance of putting in place the required infrastructure without allowing the system to be overwhelmed, she swung into action by hastening the process for procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like clothing, face shields, masks, gloves, sanitisers as also portable ventilators and pulse oximeters, etc. for the Intensive Care Unit.
A Fever Clinic was set up in the Railway Hospital to screen people with symptoms of COVID-19, especially those having history of travel. Both Dr. Meera Patil and Aparna Garg, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway, Mysuru, took swift action in basic preparations.
The support of Mysuru District Administration for arranging a mock drill for Railway staff to handle COVID-19 cases as per the standard protocols gave the team a head-start.
Despite the psychological stress while handling COVID-19 cases, the medical team showed remarkable resilience and composure to do everything possible in their power to mitigate the impact on patients who reach the hospital for initial screening, many of them from the Railway fraternity.