Hailakandi- With scores of incoming people from outside the district, the Hailakandi district administration has decided to convert the SK Roy Civil Hospital into a COVID-19 hospital.
Disclosing this, Deputy Commissioner, Megh Nidhi Dahal, in his maiden press meet held at his office conference hall on Tuesday, said the administration has decided to transform the civil hospital to a COVID-19 hospital following the arrival of people in hordes to the district by train. Dahal said that it would be a 50-bedded hospital with provisions of another 20 beds to treat COVID-19 infected persons.
The Deputy Commissioner said the move has been necessitated as Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMC&H) is overstretched as more infected persons are being admitted and swab samples of the entire Barak Valley, Manipur and others are tested there. However, he made it clear that the OPD and other wards would continue to function normally.
As chances of COVID-19 cases could not be ruled out, as more than 24,000 stranded people of the district have applied for under the Assam CARES, Dahal said the administration has sent a batch of doctors and nurses to the SMC&H for undergoing training as to how to nurse an infected COVID-19 person.
Dahal said the administration has a capacity of over 1,000 beds to accommodate the inbound people in six quarantine centres. He said that constituency wise quarantine management committee has been constituted consisting of the local MLA, minister in-charge, Circle Officer and others as members for setting up additional quarantine facilities in schools and other institutions.
The Deputy Commissioner informed that people coming by train are being screened and swab samples collected at the inbound passenger facilitation centre at Dholeswari. In the same breathe, he pointed out that the administration has started the process of identifying the asymptomatic people such as elderly, children and pregnant women at the facilitation centre itself and make necessary arrangements to put them under home quarantine after obtaining undertaking from them and their family members that they would all serve the stipulated quarantine period without stepping outside. Those coming in groups are put under institutional quarantine with steps being taken to ensure that they do not mingle with others, he added.
Dahal said that village level home quarantine committee has been constituted in each gaon panchayat to ensure that those sent to home quarantine strictly adhere to the quarantine norms.
The Deputy Commissioner sought the cooperation and support of the media in the fight against COVID-19 and asked them to report immediately if any person jumps quarantine. Dahal also sought the help of the media persons to help deal with the COVID-19 situation.
He urged the media persons to cross check and verify the information as ‘unverified report may fuel fear and panic’. While welcoming constructive criticism, Dahal said lopsided reports cause demoralising effect on all the frontline responders working at ground zero.
Dahal said during this time of unprecedented crisis never seen before everyone must rise in unison, including the media fraternity to win over the battle against COVID-19 and ‘the best weapon to tackle the disease is to maintain social distancing, wear masks, proper hygiene and sanitation’.
District Information and Public Relations Officer, Sabir Nishat, who was present, thanked the Deputy Commissioner for holding the press meet and the media persons for their feedback and suggestions.