Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma having a look at the facilities of the newly inaugurated COVID care hospital at Sarusajai in Guwahati | Image Courtesy: CMO

A new 300-bedded COVID care hospital built in association with DRDO, union government with a project cost of Rs 21.46 crores was formally inaugurated by chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on June 10.

The new hospital will act as an annexe to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). Oil India Limited and ICICI Bank have extended financial support to the tune of Rs 2 crore and Rs 1.5 crore respectively for the accomplishment of the project.

The CM also inaugurated another 20-bed ICU and 32 oxygen supported beds at Kalapahar COVID care hospital, which will also be an annexe to GMCH.

Chief minister Sarma termed the inauguration of the new COVID care hospital a decisive move in the fight against COVID-19. He also thanked DRDO for setting up the hospital within a record period of around 20 days and for having been a generous partner in this critical project.

The CM further mentioned it as a fine example of centre-state collaboration and the collective spirit of the Assam government and the people of the state.

Saying that the hospital will have a life span of five years, which can be further extended with minimum infrastructure boost up, the CM said that there will be 100 ICU beds available in the hospital and oxygen facility could also be made available in other 200 beds.

Moreover, a liquid oxygen tank has been set up to provide a continuous supply of oxygen to patients which shall be refilled weekly, Sarma added.

He further said that from now on, treatment of COVID patients will be gradually reduced at MMCH and Singimari hospital and patients will be taken care of at GMCH and the COVID care hospital at Sarusajai.

Stating that planning was afoot to boost health care infrastructure further to combat COVID 19 from the time of formation of the government, the CM said that during the last 30 days 465 ICU beds including beds with ventilation facility, 2684 oxygen supported beds were added to the medical institutions.

Apart from that, 200 ICU beds at GMCH will be made functional in the next ten days; he informed adding that the government is working to set up at least 15 ICU beds in every district hospital.

Further, in view of flood and erosion affecting a large population every year in the state, the CM urged DRDO to consider setting up makeshift housing facilities in different parts of the state so that flood-affected people could take shelter there.

Sarma also said that vaccination has been intensified to cover all categories of people above 18. Moreover from June 21, Assam would start getting the free vaccine from the Centre, which will be a big relief to the state government.

He also informed that 1000 Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) will be set up to strengthen health infrastructure for children needing critical treatment and there is no need for panic among people about the third wave of the pandemic.

The chief minister also thanked the health officials and medical fraternity for their unwavering commitment in the fight against COVID -19 in the state.

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