Himachal Expands Hospital Bed Capacity As COVID-19 Cases Surge

Dharamshala: Chief Minister Jairam Thakur visited Radhaswami Satsang Vyas at Paraur in Kangra district on Tuesday to oversee the construction of a makeshift Covid hospital at the earliest as the contagious virus continues to infect more people in the region leading to a sharp rise in patients as well as those dying from it.

Briefing the chief minister about the spread of the pandemic and the efforts made by the district administration to contain it, district magistrate Rakesh Prajapati said that as of the date as many as 359,489 samples had been tested out of which 19570 were found to be positive.

He informed that in the district there were 5384 active cases, recording a positivity rate of 5.44 percent. He added that the recovery rate was 70.34 percent.

The vaccination drive was on and till date 3,82,851 doses of vaccine had been administered to front line workers, corona warriors, and to those who were above 45 years of age.

Chief minister Jairam Thakur at Paraur

Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha Vipin Singh Parmar, Deputy Speaker Hans Raj, MP Indu Goswami, MLA Mulkh Raj Premi, Chairman, Wool Fed Trilok Kapur, former MLA Praveen Sharma, Principal, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda Dr. Bhanu Awasthi and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Earlier Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presided over a virtual meeting with senior officers of Kangra district through video conferencing from Chamba. He directed to expeditiously increase the bed capacity for the intake of  COVID-19 patients

Thakur has approved arrangements for making the Radhaswami Satsang Vyas premises at Paraur into a 250 bed capacity makeshift hospital within the next 10 days. It would gradually be increased to a 1000 bed hospital. He asked for ensuring a regular supply of oxygen and increasing of ICU beds so as to provide timely treatment to critically ill patients.

Jai Ram Thakur asked for empaneling private laboratories and to increase RT-PCR testing.

The chief minister disclosed that the federal government had sanctioned six PSA oxygen plants for Himachal, which would be set up at civil hospital, Palampur, zonal hospital Mandi, civil hospital Rohru and civil hospital Khaneri in Shimla district, Dr. Y.S Parmar Government Medical College and Hospital, Nahan and regional hospital Solan. “This would ensure adequate oxygen supply to about 1400 beds in these health institutions,” he said.

Thakur said that the government had also decided to provide incentives to various categories of doctors and para-medical staff on duty in Covid hospitals.

He said that 4th and 5th year MBBS students, contractual doctors and Junior/Senior Residents would be provided an incentive of Rs. 3000 per month, nursing students, GNM third-year students and contractual lab staff would be provided an incentive of Rs. 1500 per month till 30 June 2021.

The Chief Minister said that the state government was striving hard to increase the bed capacity throughout the State particularly in districts with high load of Covid-19 patients.

Apart from 1000 bed capacity to be created at Paraur, efforts were on to create a bed capacity of 200 at Radha Swami Satsang Vyas complex at Mandi and 300 additional bed capacities at the new OPD block of IGMCH, Shimla. He said that in addition, the space has also been identified at Baddi-Barotiwala area for creating an additional 500 bed capacity for the Covid patients.

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Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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