The State Government has initiated emergency measures to ramp up infrastructure to handle patients, in case of a flare-up as the sceptre of community spread of the novel coronavirus dangles over Odisha.
The groundwork has already started to set up dedicated COVID care units at separate locations in Bhubaneswar with around 2000 isolation beds. They will be operational in the next 10 days.
The COVID care centres are also being planned at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, Capital Hospital and Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (SVNIRTAR). Apart from the set up of COVID care units in the aforesaid hospitals, the private hospitals have also been roped in to add more bed strength.
The health infrastructure in all seven medical college hospitals and select district headquarters hospitals is also being ramped up to deal with the crisis.
The plans are in progress to set up more beds with ICU facilities along with ventilator support.
A team of health and administrative officials has visited SVNIRTAR, where at least a 100-bed unit can be set up. AIIMS has been asked to be ready with at least 200 beds.
Ranendra Pratap Swain, the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister, has urged the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik to convert Swarna Hospital Pvt Ltd at Jayadev Vihar in the city as a dedicated COVID hospital.
The multi-storey hospital with a huge built-up area is under lockdown due to non-payment of loans. The bank can be persuaded to release the facility for the use of patients during the crisis.
Since the infrastructure is located in the heart of the city, it can be readied as a dedicated hospital in a week.
Meanwhile, the State Government has decided to add provisioning of temporary health camps and facilities required for isolation centre at panchayat level in the admissible project list of rules and procedure for sanction under MLA LAD funds.
Districts have been directed to be ready with required manpower for different activities to counter COVID-19 besides the procurement of materials for temporary health camps, provision for infrastructure including toilets for temporary health camps, hiring of ambulances and other vehicles for transportation of patients, provision of food, drinking water, watch and ward.