Bayonne Medical Center (BMC) has stood at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic since the virus first spread to Bayonne. Dr. Vijay Singh, Chief of Hospitalist Medicine at the hospital, addressed the community regarding the state of the facility months into the outbreak.
In the video, Dr. Singh joined Mayor James Davis to speak directly to Bayonne residents on April 25. Davis thanked residents for following social distancing directives and staying at home, reiterating that the curve has flattened in the city.
Dr. Singh said that BMC has been working with the city and various corresponding agencies to cope with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.
So far, the hospital has tested more than 1,100 patients at the main facility as well as the drive-thru testing site that was set up at Veterans Stadium. Of the 1,100 tested, 586 people tested positive, including 338 Bayonne residents, according to Dr. Singh.
As of April 25, BMC has discharged more than 300 COVID-19 patients. Dr. Singh reported that the hospital currently releases approximately five COVID-19 patients each day.
According to the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), on April 29, only 17 residents remain hospitalized with COVID-19 in the city.
The war on COVID-19
No resource was left untapped at the hospital as staff fought to make room for the influx of sick residents, according to Dr. Singh.
BMC doubled the number of beds in the Intensive Care Unit and added capacity to the Emergency Room by constructing an emergency triage center. The hospital hired necessary staff and repurposed other floors to accommodate COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Singh said that options for COVID-19 patients now include convalescent plasma therapy transfusions and anti-retroviral therapy. BMC continues to ask recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma in hopes of finding a cure.
Antibodies found in the plasma of the blood of virus survivors may hold the key to potential treatments or vaccines for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization said on March 24 that some studies have shown that some COVID-19 patients treated with anti-retroviral drugs, normally used to treat HIV, had good clinical outcomes.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagrees, stating that while some types of HIV medications are being evaluated to treat COVID-19 patients, clinical trials have not yielded any conclusive results thus far.
On April 14, Dr. Singh told the Bayonne Community News that the controversial drug Hydroxychloroquine has been used to treat COVID-19 patients at the hospital.
Dr. Singh said the testing of symptomatic residents will continue to keep the virus under control in the city. In closing, he thanked the community for adhering to social distancing measures. He also thanked residents and local businesses for their donations.
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