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Covid-19 hospital in Odisha inaugurated; to be funded by Coal India arm

Covid-19 hospital in Odisha inaugurated; to be funded by Coal India arm

New Delhi: Coal India arm MCL will fund the Covid-19 hospital, having 500 beds and 25 intensive care units, in the capital city of Odisha.

The hospital was inaugurated on Monday By Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi also attended the programme coordinated through video conferencing.

The development comes at a time when concerns have been raised about weak healthcare infrastructure in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Government of Odisha started the country's second largest COVID-19 hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Coal India's subsidiary company is funding the total operations of this hospital having 500 beds and 25 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds with ventilators," an official said.

Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) will finance all expenses of the hospital including cost of treatment of patients for which MCL has already released Rs 7.31 crore as immediate advance. The hospital is a great medical asset for the people of Odisha, Joshi said.

MCL has also established isolation and quarantine centres with a total capacity of over 250 beds in Angul, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts of Odisha.

The company has also pressed into service the state-of-the-art equipment fog cannon to sanitise peripheral areas, besides distributing masks and alcohol-based sanitisers among coal miners and people living in and around its operations. The central government has already issued guidelines to allow state governments to utilise up to 30 per cent of the balance fund available with District Mineral Fund (DMF) to combat COVID-19. This will also help the mineral rich state like Odisha in fighting with the pandemic," Joshi said.

"I had personally directed the PSUs of coal and mines ministries to extend best possible support to the respective state governments to help fight COVID-19, which has engulfed most of the countries of the world. I am happy that these PSUs have risen to the occasion," he added.

In response, Coal India's subsidiaries have set up over 1,500 quarantine/ isolation beds in eight states.

Similarly, employees of Bhubaneswar- headquartered NALCO have pledged to contribute their one day salary amounting to Rs 2.5 crore to Odisha Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

NALCO has also given its consent to fund a dedicated COVID-19 hospital to be set up by the government of Odisha in Koraput district.

Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal output.

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