Assam opens super-speciality hospital to treat Covid-19 patients
Assam on Friday opened a 236-bed super-speciality hospital in Guwahati and converted it into a facility to treat coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients, as the number of positive cases in the north-east’s most populous state is rising towards 1,000.
The state has reported 911 Covid-19 positive cases till Friday noon.
The new centrally air-conditioned super-speciality hospital has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore. It has 186 beds in various wards, and another 50 in intensive care units (ICUs). It is also equipped with 14 ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) units, which have been recently imported from Canada, to improve indoor air quality and bacteria management.
“The opening of the hospital is a milestone in the state’s healthcare facility to provide the best possible care to Covid-19 patients. It’s a one-of-a-kind hospital in the entire north-east region,” state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told media persons on Friday after inaugurating the hospital.
“We’ll exclusively use the super-speciality hospital to treat Covid-19 patients till the time the pandemic lasts. We expect the number of symptomatic Covid-19 patients, who need special care, to increase in the coming days. This hospital will cater to those patients,” he added.
The state has recorded a spike in Covid-19 positive cases because of the easing of lockdown restrictions from May 4, which led to an influx of thousands of stranded people returning home from various parts of the country, including by air since Monday when domestic flight services resumed after two months.
“Some experts have said that the centralised air conditioning system could lead to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease. In a bid to get around the use of the centralised air conditioning system during this peak summer, we imported UVGI units from Canada, despite the lockdown restrictions. These units will neutralise the virus by emitting the ultra-violet (UV) rays and prevent its spread,” Sarma said.
“There’ll be an exponential rise in Covid-19 positive cases if the viral outbreak reaches the third stage or community transmission. This hospital will cater to those patients in the event of a medical emergency such as community transmission,” he added.
The super-speciality hospital has facilities to conduct surgeries on Covid-19 patients, who need surgical interventions for their other medical complications.
“There is no need to panic, as the state has the capacity to treat 5,000 Covid-19 patients,” he added.
As for lockdown 5:0, which is likely to be imposed in the country from Monday, the minister said that Assam would like to persist with the ongoing night curfew and is ready to comply with the central government’s guidelines.