IGMH suspends new admissions to ICU following coronavirus cases

People wait at the front entrance of Indhira Gandhi Memorial (IGMH) on May 14, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The main government hospital, Indhira Gandh Memorial Hospital (IGMH) announced on Saturday it has imposed a temporary ban on admitting any new patients to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

It comes after a patient at the hospital’s ICU who passed away on Thursday, a 39-year-old Indonesian man who was being treated for four stage four cancer, tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Following the positive test results, all patients at the ICU at the time, and one patient who was moved out of the ICU to a ward, were tested for the coronavirus.

Two of the patients tested positive, along with four of the hospital’s staff who worked at the ICU and operation theater. At least three of them are nurses.

IGMH, in a statement on Saturday morning, said that the patients who tested positive have been moved to DH11, the ICU specialized for coronavirus patients on the 11th floor of Dharumavantha Hospital, are in stable condition.

“While ICU at present does not have any patient or staff member who tested positive for COVID-19, the hospital has temporarily suspended admission of new patients to the ICU and arranged for ICU facilities elsewhere at the hospital as an additional precautionary measure,” wrote IGMH in its statement.

The hospital also announced the decision to reinforce coronavirus testing of hospitalized patients, and to expand testing to include all patients.

“However, we provide assurance we will not wait for COVID-19 test results in providing necessary treatment with preventive measures without delay in situations where patients require lifesaving treatment or any other emergency care,” wrote IGMH in its statement.

IGMH said it will continue to review, and revise its coronavirus protocols when necessary.

Meanwhile, the testing of hospital’s doctor, nurses and other staff members in the ICU and operation theater identified through contact tracing remains in progress.

“With the majority of the testing now complete, four staff members have tested positive. All other staff members who have been tested so far tested negative,” wrote IGMH in its statement.

Maldives has confirmed 2,410 coronavirus cases, 1,976 of whom have recovered and 10 of whom have died from complications.

The active cases stand at 419, and the recovery rate at 81 percent.

The death of the Indonesian patient was initially reported by Health Protection Agency (HPA) as the 11th coronavirus-related death in the country, but was later reclassified after doctors ruled stage four cancer to be the primary cause of death.