ANGUL: At a time when Angul district continues to record above 100 positive cases per day and is in yellow zone, the Covid care centre (CCC) in backward Athmallik has been closed since four days sparking resentment among locals.
Sources said, the CCC, which was opened only last month on May 25, has been shut since June 18 despite the medical facility being much-needed in the backward sub-division. Locals had earlier expressed resentment as all Covid facilities were in Talcher and Angul, about 100 km away. They had become hopeful of timely health service after the CCC started functioning in Athmallik.
The 40-bed CCC at Athmallik -one of the four sub-divisions in the district- had been set up following protests and demands by the residents and political parties, specially the BJP. Six doctors from SCB Medical College and paramedical staff from Angul district hospital were posted at the dedicated facility where five to 10 patients were admitted daily.
However, SCB withdrew six medical officers from the centre on June 16 and the DHH authorities also called back paramedical staff forcing the local administration to close the CCC. Opposing the closure of the CCC, State BJP Executive committee member Bhagirathi Pradhan said the facility was of great service to the people in the region. “It is another instance of neglect by the State government towards Athamallik. Instead of opening more centres and hospitals to meet the surging pandemic, the government is closing them which is ridiculous. Local MLA also is doing nothing in this regard,” he said.
Athmallik sub-collector Lalit Behera said the centre had to be closed because of the withdrawal of doctors by SCB authorities. Under these circumstances, there was no way but to close the centre. SCB officials, he said, withdrew the doctors because there was a sharp reduction of patients.