The Covid Story in Jamnagar: The Light in The Darkness

“The Darkest Hour has but sixty minutes.”

Amongst all, the sad stories from India about the Covid numbers, I want to spread a story that would be inspiring and boost the morale of the people.

If you are a resident or even an ex-resident of Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, take a bow.

If you have been associated with Guru Govind Singhji ( GG) Government Hospital ( previously Irwin Hospital) in any manner, take two bows.

Again, if you are an alumnus and have graduated from the M P Shah Government Medical College: take multiple bows and swell your chest for a good measure.

The hospital has been quietly treating covid patients, with quality care, under trying circumstances, without any publicity and funfare.

Out of 1080 beds for Covid in Jamnagar, they increased this to 1500 with plans for 300 more at the Dental College.

The GG Government Hospital is arguably providing one of the best patient care in Gujarat (if not in the country) for Covid with a nominal one time charge of Rs. 1400 ( US $ 18) only.

Nothing else to pay and even the staff will not accept any amount at any stage and in fact the staff is offended even if you offer them any amount as their salary is good and would not risk the jobs for any amount.

All you need is your Aadhar card and a positive RT-PCR report and the examining doctor will decide if you need admission or not. If you are awaiting your RT-CPR report and if you feel that you could be having the virus, they admit you to an isolation ward and shift you over to the Covid ward on confirmation or discharge if needed.

Hospital Stay, investigations, medicines, X ray, ECG including Remdesivir and Heparin and nutritious Satvik vegetarian healthy but tasty meals three times a day with twice “masala chai” in the morning and evening and one time milk pouch or buttermilk and meals catered by Jamnagar’s leading hotel: Aram.

Daily three times’ checking for sugars before meals ( they will not allow Diabetics to eat without checking the sugars) , BP daily, and insulin dose adjusted accordingly, 10 times a day for O2 and switching over to oxygen if needed, ECG and X ray at site (the only machine of its kind in Gujarat) and 24/7 doctors and paramedical staff, available with two to three doctors on every floor.

Physiotherapist visits daily for Covid compatible stretches.

Centrally air conditioned wards with cleaning of the bathrooms (our biggest fear in a Government hospital) which are perhaps better than those in private hospitals, and wards twice in a day.

On discharge, complimentary kit of Frooti, sanitizer masks, sanitiser, Parle biscuits and all medicines including all follow up of medicines including Multivitamins and Vitamin C.

The remarkable part, apart from all this, however, is the die-hard attitude of the attending doctors and staff, despite the horrendous conditions and staff always smiling and laughing though these are weary laughs, understandable under the circumstances.

Doctors are tired but still keep a good morale and try to cheer the patients at all times.

Phenomenal.

Private sector families have started free meals twice in a day (they are our family friends but do not wish to be named: a pity) for relatives of the patients near the Covid wards (opposite the Solarium) and at least 400/450 relatives are having unlimited hot meals twice daily: provided free by individual donors, with simple but wholesome meals of dal subji rotis and rice in the mornings and khichri kadhi parathas subji in the evenings: all free.

Tiffins are filled on request.

At strategic locations in the huge daunting campus, shaded places with seats have been built to provide relief from the scorching heat for relatives and families.

The municipality has organised free parking spaces for families from outside Jamnagar visiting Jamnagar, and these are many.

The hospital’s latest statistics show that 450 beds are occupied by patients from Rajkot and Morbi ( this is of course at the expense of the local residents but no one is complaining) as is evident by the number plates from free parking provided in the Ayurved University: and these are luxurious cars, SUYs and expensive models and more than 300 to 500 cars at any given time.

Well done: Jamnagar.

Proud to be a resident of this unpretentious “Chhoti Kaashi ” with its 500 plus temples, as it is popularly known and a graduate of M P Shah Government Medical College, Jamnagar.

Jai Hind.

*Dr. Sanjay Bhagde*

Jamnagar, Gujarat: India.

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