TIRUCHY: The people of Inamkulathur were in for a surprise as a neglected building in the Upgraded Primary Health Centre (UPHC) has been renovated in a day and is ready to house COVID-19 patients thanks to the efforts of the newly elected DMK MLA of Srirangam M Palaniyandi.
The building in the campus of the UPHC was utilized as a training centre for health staff twenty years ago. After that, the building was uncared for. Over a period of time, it was surrounded by overgrown bushes.
MLA Palaniyandi inspected the UPHC on Thursday to find out if it could be converted into a COVID care centre.
The UPHC staff told him about the abandoned building and requested him to take measures to renovate it.
“Actually, there was a plan to convert the maternity ward of the UPHC into the COVID care centre and direct the delivery cases to a nearby PHC. If the building is readied, there is no need for this,” said a health staffer there.
The maternity ward of the UPHC reportedly attends to at least 15 delivery and family planning cases in a month.
After speaking to the staff during his inspection, the MLA immediately ordered the renovation of the unused building.
With the help of village panchayat president Vellaiyammal Palanisamy, the work was started at once.
About 20 workers were mobilized to clean and remove the bushes around the building using earthmoving vehicles and whitewash it. It was done in five hours.
On Friday, along with re-wiring work, new lights and ceiling fans were installed at the six rooms in the building. Plumbing work and repairing of toilets were also underway simultaneously.
The workers said that at this rate the building would be completely ready for use on Saturday.
Consequently, the health officials have reportedly dropped the plan of converting the maternity ward into a COVID-19 facility.
“They are going to set up 30 beds in the renovated building. COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms will be housed there for observation while recovering. It will be of great use for us,” added the health staffer at Inamkulathur.
When asked about it, MLA Palaniyandi said, “Currently we are doing these works from my pocket. I do not know how much the total renovation will cost. Only after the completion will we know.”
The MLA also posted the old and new pictures of the building on his Facebook account which received wide appreciation.