Local Community Changes Affect Landour
5.5.20 Landour Community Hospital, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
“As of now, we aren’t treating any COVID-19 patients at Landour. That being said, our regular services are ongoing with a greater degree of making sure we are alert and prepared.
Landour is a hospital that is dependent on the local environment (large private schools, hotels, tourists, and people from the villages). Mussoorie is a popular vacation spot and our area is dependent on the influx of tourists each year. The hospital is also significantly affected by the change of seasons, especially the winter. Considering that the COVID-19 crisis emerged at the end of winter (and is expected to remain as such into spring and summer), this has had a significant impact on our revenue—we’ve already seen a 30 percent drop. As anticipated, our overheads have gone up.
All this has led to Landour having to withhold payment of salaries to our staff for the month of April. The uncertainty concerning the opening of schools and travel safety is bound to have a significant impact on the local community and certainly on the hospital which is largely dependent on them. Considering the changes in the local environment (and the time it is likely to take to recover), paying of staff salaries is going to continue to be a major concern for us.
The lockdown has been eased partially in Dehradun district which is relief of sorts, but it leaves us questioning what to be prepared for. We see a sense of casualness in the public, with people leaving their homes for almost anything. Additionally, considering that various states have been working on repatriating people to their home states, Mussoorie is likely to see an inflow of individuals from neighboring states which have a high number of COVID-19 positive patients.
To date, Landour hospital has not been asked or instructed by the local government to admit or treat COVID-19 patients. In the days and weeks to come, if the situation demands, we may be asked to do so. Quite likely this would happen in a rush, leaving us little time to prepare. Much as we have our systems in place and are prepared (PPE, drugs, and supplies stocked), we think it would be sufficient for only a couple of weeks at the most.”
~ Dr. George Clarence, Senior Administrative Officer