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Assam readies three hospitals reserved for COVID-19, ropes in 85 private facilities to treat others

The state government has also floated tenders to set up five pre-fabricated hospitals with 300 beds each to treat only coronavirus cases, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.

Published: 29th March 2020 10:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2020 10:02 PM   |  A+A-

Traffic police charge fine on commuters for flouting lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic at Bhangagarh in Guwahati Sunday March 29 2020. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

GUWAHATI: Three premier state-run medical college hospitals in different parts of Assam have been dedicated exclusively for COVID-19 patients while the government signed agreements with 85 private hospitals where other patients would be treated and the expenses would be reimbursed by the government.

The state government has also floated tenders to set up five pre-fabricated hospitals with 300 beds each to treat only coronavirus cases, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.

Assam has not reported any COVID-19 case so far but the state health department has taken these initiatives to combat the disease in case there is an outbreak.

Sarma on Sunday signed an MoU with 22 private hospitals in Silchar and announced that the Silchar Medical College and Hospital shall be reserved for COVID-19 patients, other than maternity and emergency cases.

A 300-bed pre-fabricated hospital with ICU and ventilation facilities will be constructed in Silchar as a facility for treatment of coronavirus patients and Sarma inspected its site.

The minister had signed a similar MoU with 27 private hospitals in Dibrugarh on Saturday, dedicating the Assam Medical College and Hospital for COVID-19 patients, barring cardiology, maternity and burn patients.

Such an MoU was first signed with 36 hospitals in Guwahati on Friday and the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital was reserved only coronavirus patients, except cancer, maternity and emergency patients.

"All other patients can avail of the facilities of these private nursing homes and the treatment there shall be free and cashless with all private hospitals reimbursed as per Ayushman Bharat rates," the minister said.

The state government has also floated tenders to set up five pre-fabricated hospitals with 300 beds each and full ICU and ventilation facilities which will remain functional for five years, he said.

The cost of each hospital is expected to be around Rs 40 to 50 crores and these were expected to be completed within two months.

"We expect to build four of these hospitals with donations while the government will build one," he said.

The minister said work for setting up Covid-19 quarantine facilities at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati is going on a and would be completed soon.

The other four medical colleges and hospitals at Jorhat, Tezpur, Barpeta and Diphu are also being prepared to meet any eventuality.

Authorities at Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital in Guwahati have also set up a 12-bed fully-equipped ICU unit.

"We are in difficult times, yet committed to continue to offer best services to people", Sarma said.

The total number of isolation beds identified in the state as on date is around 2,625 for treating critically ill patients.

Health and Family Welfare Department with the help of district administration has identified mass quarantine facilities across the state for approximately 7,475 suspected cases.

Altogether 428 ICU beds are available in government and private hospitals while 182 ventilators are available in government and private hospitals.

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