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Assam kick starts process to set up makeshift hospitals

700-bed quarantine centre at Sarusajai to be ready in a week: Himanta

GUWAHATI: The Assam government
has started the process to set up makeshift hospitals to keep people coming
from outside the state in isolation and treat patients who may test positive for
novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The construction of
such a quarantine centre, which will have at least 700 beds, 200 toilets and
other facilities, is under way on the premises of the Indira Gandhi Athletic
Stadium at Sarusajai here on Thursday.

Assam health minister
Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the site and took stock of the preparedness and the
facility.

“The
quarantine centre
will be ready in a week’s time. It will be able to house about 700
people at a
time. Arrangements have also been made for providing accommodation to
the medical staff to be deployed at the centre,” Sarma said.

The minister informed that
the state government was making arrangements to ferry all the 700 people currently
stranded at Srirampur and Boxirhat check gates on the Assam-Bengal border to
the state on special buses soon.

“The Kokrajhar deputy commissioner
has been asked to make arrangements for providing food and shelter there till
they are brought here and kept in isolation for 14 days at the quarantine
centre at Sarusajai,” Sarma said, while adding that till date, there were no positive
cases for the virus in Assam.

The health minister
said that if any member of a family tested positive bus does not have home quarantine
arrangements, then he/she would be brought to the isolation centre at Sarusajai
as well.

“Besides, there are
people coming from outside who have not been allowed to stay in hotels here.
Such people will also be accommodated at the isolation centre,” he added.

Apart from Sarusajai,
the state government might set up a similar facility at Nehru
Stadium if required.

The Assam Cricket
Association (ACA), in a statement on Thursday, also offered the ACA Stadium and
its premises at Barsapara here to the state government for establishing
temporary hospital and quarantine centre in view of the emergent situation
arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.

The association further
assured that it would provide every possible support to the state government to
fight against the virus outbreak during this critical juncture.

It may be mentioned
that government has already decided to dedicate three hospitals in the state to
exclusively treat coronavirus-affected people.

“We are in talks with
Larsen and Toubro (L&T) as well for setting up temporary hospitals in the
state which have a durability of four years. If such facilities are set up,
then our MPs, both from ruling and Opposition, have committed to contribute
from their funds,” the health minister said.

Training
for MBBS students

The health minister
further informed that a module for training 700 MBBS final year students on
COVID-19 has been prepared and that the students would be trained on the virus
in a bid to have an enhanced pool of doctors to treat COVID-19 patients in
future.

“Apart from MBBS
students, final year nursing students will also be trained in various aspects
related to coronavirus. The idea is to augment the medical staff by about 300
to 400 in the first phase,” Sarma said.

Source: The Shillong Times

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