CUTTACK: At a time when critical COVID patients are suffering immense problems due to a shortage of intensive care units (ICUs) in the district, a five-bed facility set up at Gopabandu Institute of Medical Science and Research (GIMSAR) in Athagarh is lying idle since its inauguration in June.
Though the administration is claiming to have created 100 ICUs and 20 ventilators in designated Covid hospitals across the district, the ground reality seems to differ with many of them are yet to be made functional. The situation in GIMSAR is a glaring example.
Considering the surge in Covid cases, the district administration had set up a 150-bed hospital at GIMSAR in June. Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab and Rajya Sabha MP Ashwini Vaishnaw had sanctioned `1 crore and Rs 40 lakh respectively for setting up four ICUs and one ventilator at GIMSAR for treatment of critical COVID patients.
Though the facilities were inaugurated on June 17, the same are yet to be made functional. Due to non-operational of the ICUs, critical patients are being shifted to other Covid hospitals in Cuttack or Bhubaneswar. Often, some of them are succumbing to the virus due to unavailability of ICUs, alleged BJP leader Rama Narayan Mohanty demanding to make functional the ICUs lying idle at GIMSAR.
Athagarh sub-divisional medical officer Dr Bijay Kumar Mishra, however, clarified that the ICUs and ventilator could not be made operational due to lack of staff required for running the critical care facilities.
Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani said the ICUs have been created as standby options. “We have created the infrastructure by setting up critical care facilities and it will be made operational as and when necessary,” said Chayani.