Millennium Post

Massive boost for Covid infra

KOLKATA: Following a high-level meeting chaired by outgoing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at state Secretariat on Sunday, state government took several major steps to increase the number of beds to treat Covid patients.

Decision was taken to convert different establishments, including portions of stadiums like Kishore Bharati Stadium and Gitanjali Stadium into temporary health care facilities.

The meeting was attended by senior state government officers including Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Home Secretary HK Dwivedi and Health Secretary NS Nigam.

Medica Hospital will set up 300 beds at Kishore Bharati stadium and Metropolitan Club.

A temporary hospital will be set up at Gitanjali stadium as well. Charnock Hospital will set up a 100-bed facility at Haj Centre. Later, it will be increased to 200.

RN Tagore Hospital at Salt Lake is also setting up Covid beds. Number of beds is also increasing at Jagannath Gupta Medical College at Budge Budge. AMRI Dhakuria and Mukundapur have also been given clearances and directed to make arrangements for more than 100 beds.

Authorities of the SSKM Hospital are also taking steps to set up infrastructure at Uttirnya to provide health facilities like that of a hospital, along with beds fitted with oxygen supply arrangements. MR Bangur Hospital has also taken steps to develop a Safe Home off EM Bypass.

Though the state government has taken steps to set up oxygen plants in various hospitals and sought permission from the Centre to set up 93 oxygen plants, clearances were given to only five.

State had already set up three plants after getting clearance. The work of setting up two more will be completed soon.

Meanwhile, according to the state Health department's data, at present there are 13,000 beds at state-run and state requisitioned hospitals while there are around 7000 beds in private hospitals.

Cumulatively, there are around 20,000 Covid beds and 50 per cent of which are in Kolkata and its adjoining areas. There are 2700 beds at Satellite Centres.

Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha are also trying to increase the number of beds.

Barrackpore Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission informed the state government that they would provide residential and education support to anyone age group of 6 to 14 years in case their parents die due to Covid.

Mission has also donated Rs 5 lakh to the state government Covid relief fund.

At present 600 ambulances are operating across the state, including 470 in Kolkata, to provide free of cost service. About 23 ambulances are operating in the area under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

According to the sources, there is no dearth in oxygen supply in the state at present as 497 MT oxygen is produced in the state everyday while the requirement is 223 MT and there is also allotment of receiving 380 MT oxygen.

But, at certain places in the local medicine shops, there is no supply of medical oxygen. Some are trying to create an artificial crisis, sources alleged. State government assured that the situation would get normalised soon.

The top brass of the state police and Kolkata police ensured a check on black marketing of the same.

Oxygen is being supplied through pipelines to 112 hospitals in the state and additional 20 to 25 hospitals will be added to the list.

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