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Combating Corona Carnage upfront, PGIMER excels on other fronts as well through 2020

PGIMER: A Premier Institute of National Reckoning


This year, if you have survived all because of HCWs and Had PGIMER not taken the command in hand, Dear Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal, you all would have been in the gut of hell. So, If you have survived 2020, Say thanks to PGIMER, Chandigarh for this. Here, we are not at all trying to discredit the rest of the medical facilities in Chandigarh, but PGIMER above than the all has shown the path to all medical fraternity on how to bear this burn now.

Besides, producing world-class medical academicians and undertaking research activities, the institute also provides patient care services of utmost standards to its patients. As a result of this unwavering commitment over the decades, PGIMER has earned the credibility of an institute that ‘cares without boundaries’.

Key Accomplishments during the year 2020

Combating the COVID Carnage

PGIMER designated as dedicated COVID Hospital

  • With the rapid surge and spread of cases, COVID-19 was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by WHO in January 2020. The pandemic also put its first step in Chandigarh in the month ending of January 2020 itself when the sample of the first suspect case was sent for COVID-19 testing.
  • Acknowledging its commendable contribution inpatient care, PGIMER Chandigarh was the obvious choice as a dedicated COVID hospital for testing and treatment of suspected/ confirmed COVID patients.

Preparedness of PGIMER to deal with National Calamity 

  • To tackle the COVID-19 menace screening areas, dedicated wards and ICUs were established in the emergency complex of the institute.
  • Fully equipped OTs were established for the management of COVID infected sick patients requiring urgent surgical interventions. COVID-19 testing lab facilities were also established in the institute.
  • To provide quality care to patients an institution-level COVID-19 committee was conceived to discuss upon the day-to-day stock of the situation, ongoing scenario, and decide further course of action.
  • Later, with the surge in COVID-19 cases, a dedicated 250 bedded fully equipped ‘COVID-Hospital’ was established in the institute for the management of COVID-19 positive cases, which was further increased to over 400 bed capacity in view of the surge in cases.
  • It goes without saying that the Institute has been steadfast in serving the COVID 19 patients across the region with unwavering commitment from day one.
  • Till date, institute has been able to provide treatment to over 3,000 COVID-19 positive cases.

Round the clock Testing Facilities

  • At present two departments (Department of Virology and Department of microbiology) of the institute are performing COVID testing (RTPCR, Genexpert, and RAT).
  • Working 24×7, the testing labs are catering to the sample a load of City Chandigarh as well as patients/samples received from neighboring state healthcare organizations.
  • A total of around 1,30,000 RTPCR tests, over 10,000 Genexpert, and 6,000 Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) have been done till date.

Handholding & Mentoring 

  • The institute is also working as a mentor institute for neighbouring state healthcare organisation for setting up the testing labs
  • Over 60 labs have been established under the mentorship of PGIMER.

Trial Site

  • It is a testimony to the credibility of the institute that PGIMER has been selected as one of the trial sites for various drugs for COVID -19 including the second and third phases of human clinical trials of Covishield, the potential vaccine developed by Oxford University.
  • The second phase of the trials of Covishieldhas been successfully completed and the third phase is underway.

Roll Out Plan for Vaccination

  • PGIMER’s roll out plan for vaccination over 12,000 healthcare has been chalked out well with all the requisites in place to start vaccination in January, 2021.
  • A task-force has been constituted to monitor storage, infrastructure and manpower requirements and multiple centres have been created in Nehru Hospital, NHE and APC to undertake vaccination.

Care & Compassion for Non-COVID Patients

  • The Institute has also been also providing patient care services to non-COVID emergency patients reporting from all the adjoining states of Northern India.
  • In the year 2020, institute has provided OPD care to around 10 lakh Non-COVID patients and IPD care to around 55,000 patients.
  • Besides this, institute has been providing OPD services to patients through Tele-consultation, where around 1,800-2,000 are registered on daily basis and are imparted treatment under different specialties
  • Through the year since the start of Tele-consultation in May, 2020, a total of 2,11,610 patients have been provided consultation and treatment.

Winning Laurels

The institute has been continuing with the tradition of creating benchmarks in various extracurricular activities and has won laurels. Some distinct achievements have been as under:

  • PGIMER has been honoured 4th time in a row with a National Award under the ‘Best Hospital’ category for its outstanding contribution towards the promotion of cadaver organ donation.
  • The institute, for the third consecutive year, has been ranked second in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in the medical category by the human resource development ministry.
  • The institute ‘Nehru Hospital Extension’ block has been conferred with ICI awards 2020 for outstanding concrete structure.
  • Ten stalwarts of PGIMER made it to the most coveted list of ‘World Ranking of Top 2% Scientists’ in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Dr. Ritesh Agarwal from the Deptt of Pulmonary Medicine became the first faculty to be awarded the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology for the year 2020 in the medical sciences category.
  • In addition, many faculty members of the Institute have won various awards and promotions at national and international levels and brought laurels to the institute with their distinct achievements.

Creating Benchmarks & Innovations

Clinical acumen and ideas of healthcare workers has led to various innovations to further strengthen patient care services. The distinct ones done through the year are as under:

  • In April, 2020 a team of PGIMER doctors successfully re-implanted an amputated proximal wrist of left hand of 50-year-old Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of Punjab Police. Both radial and ulnar arteries, the vena comitants and an extra dorsal vein were anastomosed (reconnection of blood vessels). All the flexors and extensor tendons were repaired.
  • Even in the thick of COVID, PGIMER team succeeded in giving second lease of life to 34 terminally ill organ failure patients through transplantation included one successful one heart transplant to a 13-year-old recipient.
  • PGIMER faculty, siblings Prof Kusum Sharma and Prof Aman Sharma were granted patent for innovative multiplex PCR method for diagnosis of tuberculosis.
  • Pioneering research was done by the rheumatologists from PGIMER in the field of systemic vasculitis regarding the disease known as DADA2
  • The proactive and innovative healthcare workers designed and developed a low-cost interactive robot trolley, called Delivery, Observance and Orchestrated Telecommunicator (DOOT), with an intent to minimize the risk of healthcare workers getting in contact with COVID-19 infected patients.
  • Similarly, a team from PGIMER faculty has also come up with a prototype for an affordable and automatic AMBU bag operating device, which could prove to be the need of the hour as India struggles to fortify its medical infrastructure amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
  • A substantial number of research projects and publications have been approved and published at national as well as international levels.
  • With 176 research papers on COVID, PGIMER has been ranked second in research papers on COVID, after AIIMS New Delhi.

PGIMER’s New & Upcoming Projects

  • PGIMER’s Project for Advanced Care, Neurosciences Centre,also a 300-bed facility to offer timely, affordable and advanced treatment for neurological and neuroscience disorders, is progressing well.
  • The work on PGIMER’s Mother and Child Care Centre, a 300 -bed unit for improving obstetric and neonatal tertiary care, is developing at a fast pace.
  • PGIMER’s Satellite CentreSangrur is now functional with its OPDs being operational which has boosted the healthcare and eased the patient load from that area.

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