The Assam government has decided to drop its plan of building temporary dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in the state as the government has been able to spruce up the existing facilities and accelerate completion of unfinished structures.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on April 20, Assam Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We have decided that there will be no need for COVID-19 hospitals in the state. We evaluated our existing facility and incomplete infrastructure, and have seen that we can ramp these up to meet our requirements.”
On the funds collected through Assam Arogya Nidhi account for building the special hospitals, he said this money will be used for revamping the facilities in the state for treating COVID-19 cases.
He added that Rs 99.56 crore has been collected in the fund so far through donations from individuals and organizations, and collection will stop when the amount reaches Rs 101 crore.
“With this Rs 101 crore and the additional funds that the Union Health ministry has indicated of providing us, we shall increase the facilities at the existing hospitals and incomplete infrastructure. And we hope to be able to set up 1000 ICU beds through this,” Sarma said.
Earlier last month, at the beginning of the nationwide lockdown, the minister had said the state government was contemplating construction of a few temporary COVID-19 dedicated hospitals with life span of four-five years, with people’s assistance, and had later starting receiving donations in the Assam Arogya Nidhi account for the specific purpose.