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All medical colleges in state to have separate Covid wards

Kolkata: All medical colleges across the state will now have to set up a separate Covid ward, sources in the Health department said on Friday. Besides the dedicated Covid hospitals — which are currently functional — the medical colleges will have to treat Covid patients.

It was learnt that the state Health department has asked medical college authorities to make necessary arrangements for setting up an isolated unit where Covid infected patients can be treated. The normal health services will not be affected as Covid ward would be situated in a completely isolated portion.

The decision was taken as the daily Covid infection crossed 1,000 mark on Thursday. During the first wave, the hospitals were exclusively dedicated for Covid treatment. There are currently 46 dedicated Covid hospitals operational in the state out of which 35 are government hospitals and the remaining 11 are private ones. The total number of earmarked Covid beds stands at 5,604.

Currently, there are Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) wards at various medical colleges and hospitals as Covid suspected patients often suffer from respiratory problems. SARI wards were opened after the Covid pandemic broke out. Earlier, those who tested positive for Covid had to be shifted to designated hospitals. But now, there would be a dedicated unit in all the medical colleges across the state.

All medical colleges have to arrange 50 beds in the Covid unit. The district hospitals may also have to arrange an isolation ward with a capacity of 30 beds to meet any challenges. The step has been taken as an alternative arrangement to meet the situation if there is a second wave.

It may be mentioned here that the state Health department in an advisory in the last week of March directed all medical colleges and the district hospitals to strengthen Covid management and to set up adequate infrastructure to meet any impending situation. The hospitals and medical college authorities have also been asked to train all ICU staff and to make adequate arrangements for PPE kits, oxygen, medicines, gloves and other equipment required for Covid treatment. The CCU staff, who perform duties in the late-night hours, must be sensitised, the Health department said.

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