100-bed makeshift Covid hospital to come up in Bathinda in 3 weeks
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the state and central governments have decided to set up a makeshift hospital in Bathinda district that will have 100 beds with oxygen support for patients.
Deputy commissioner B Srinivasan said on Saturday the facility is likely to be functional within three weeks. “Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will construct the temporary structure near Raman village. A team of doctors and paramedic staff will be supported by the Indian army. We are working to make the project operational soon,” said the DC.
HPCL-Mittal group managed-Guru Gobind Singh Refinery has committed to providing land and basic facilities for the hospital near its plant, about 45 km from Bathinda city.
When functional, it will be the largest state-managed medical facility for coronavirus patients in southern Punjab. “As per the plan, the upcoming facility will be equipped to treat Covid patients in need of oxygen support. The location has been identified near Raman to have a sufficient supply of oxygen from the refinery. It may be expanded if the need arises in the future,” added the DC.
Official sources at the refinery said work to augment industrial oxygen-producing facility at the plant into medical-grade gas is underway on priority.
Following a spurt in infections in the last month, Bathinda is now rated among the six worst-hit districts of Punjab. With 653 new cases reported on Saturday, the number of active Covid cases has reached 5,141. As many as 13 Covid-related deaths were reported on Saturday. In the second half of April, 6,969 new cases and 101 deaths were reported.
Similarly, other districts of the region also witnessed a sharp surge in Covid cases in the past one month with Bathinda leading among seven districts of the south Malwa belt.
Finance minister Manpreet Badal on Saturday took stock of preparedness in government and private hospitals of Bathinda district. He assured hospital managements and patients to provide oxygen and other medical support to the Covid care institutes.
Meanwhile, the local administration on Saturday directed 26 private hospitals to prepare 664 additional beds exclusively for Covid patients.
The official spokesperson of the administration said 512 beds will be kept for patients needing oxygen support whereas the hospitals will reserve 152 for critically ill patients requiring ventilator support.