Hyderabad: The non-COVID services at Gandhi Hospital will start from 21 November while COVID-19 services will continue.

Gandhi Hospital has been treating COVID-19 patients since Telangana reported its first novel coronavirus case on 2 March. The non-COVID wards have been shut down since then and patients have been directed to Osmania General Hospital and others.

On Friday, the hospital announced that it will reopen all departments including outpatient and inpatient department, elective surgeries, and the emergency unit. The hospital has also put forward guidelines for visiting patients. Only one attendant will be allowed to accompany a patient and there will be no visiting hours.

Patients will not be allowed without masks and social distancing will be enforced in the hospital. Also, the hospital administration has asked people visiting the hospital to not spit inside the premises. There will be separate gates for COVID and non-COVID patients.

The superintendent of the hospital said it's difficult to run both COVID and non-COVID services after eight months. "We need the support of the people to resume normal services," said Dr. Raja Rao, the superintendent of Gandhi Hospital.

On 10 November, the resident doctors of Gandhi Hospital had called an indefinite strike demanding the reopening of non-COVID wards in the hospital. They claimed that the number of COVID-19 cases in the state has significantly come down. There are around 306 positive cases in Gandhi Hospital but all 1,800 beds are reserved for COVID-19 patients, they had said, adding that the hospital has the better and superior infrastructure and human resources which is not being utilised.

Later, the director of medical education (DME) held a meeting with the protesting doctors and assured them that non-COVID services in the hospital would resume. The DME recently announced that the Telangana Institute of Medical Science (TIMS) and King Koti Hospital will function as COVID nodal centres in the state.

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