With the possibility of the total number of coronavirus cases in Assam crossing the 1,000-mark by this weekend, the state is ramping up its health infrastructure on a war footing. The first brand new swanky super speciality COVID-19 hospital in the northeast has opened in Guwahati, where symptomatic and serious coronavirus positive patients would be treated. The hospital, with 200 beds, will be "fully operational" by Monday, government sources added.
The new hospital is among only a few in the country that have its air conditioning system sanitised by a UV ray device specially imported from Canada. It has 50 state-of-the-art ICU beds with ventilators and 150 isolation beds for COVID-19 patients.
"This is a fully equipped hospital. This is a super-speciality COVID hospital with an Operation Theatre and microbiology lab, so it can treat any complication associated with COVID apart from dedicated COVID treatment," Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told NDTV in a press conference on the sidelines of the inaugural event of the hospital.
The hospital, costing Rs 150 crores, was initially planned to be a super speciality hospital annexed to the Guwahati Medical College, but with the COVID-19 situation, the Assam government decided to turn it into a coronavirus super speciality hospital. The work was also fast-tracked.
Assam Health Secretary says even though majority cases are asymptomatic, the state is prepared for serious cases.
"As of now we have been getting a majority of asymptomatic or mild coronavirus-infected cases which does not need ICU or super speciality support but with the spike in cases, we have to plan for situations where we get more serious cases and that's where this facility will play a crucial role in our fight against the pandemic," explained Assam Health secretary Samir Sinha to NDTV.
Doctors, nurses and paramedics for the new hospital have already been deployed and have undergone COVID-19 training, Mr Sinha added.
Assam aims to create 5,000 beds across hospitals in the state for COVID-19 patients, he said.
Assam and the Northeast have seen a spike in the number of cases ever since interstate movements were allowed. Assam that has reported over 900 COVID-19 cases so far.