Calcutta Municipal Corporation and private hospitals open safe home and satellite unit for Covid patients
The state government and private hospitals have started opening safe homes and satellite facilities for Covid patients as an alarming rise in the case count since March has resulted in a bed crisis in hospitals.
The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Monday opened a safe home at a building on the EM Bypass-Park Circus connector, opposite Science City, to accommodate Covid-19 patients who lack space at home to stay isolated. The CMC is also preparing to open similar facilities in other parts of Calcutta.
Some of the private hospitals have started opening satellite facilities, which they had closed early this year following a sharp drop in the number of cases.
The CMC facility, the first in the city since the beginning of the second wave of Covid in March, can accommodate 100 patients, officials said.
“Elderly patients who can't afford a caregiver at home will be given priority while allotting beds at the safe home,” said a CMC official. “Those who will stay at the safe home will undergo regular monitoring.”
The decision to reopen some of the safe homes in the city was taken at a recent meeting between officials of the CMC and the Bengal health department.
“People have been gathering in large numbers to join political processions and meetings. The number of Covid positive patients could go up in the next few weeks and there is an immediate need to stay prepared,” a health department official said.
“Apart from the CMC, we will request other civic bodies near Calcutta to make similar arrangements.”
In the next few weeks, the CMC will acquire a few floors of a building at Anandapur, off EM Bypass, to accommodate close to 400 patients.
A floor will be reserved for doctors and other health staff.
“We also plan to accommodate patients at Kishore Bharati Stadium in Santoshpur and Gitanjali Stadium in Kasba. Preliminary surveys have been completed and last minute arrangements are being finalised,” said a senior official of the CMC's health department. "A building in New Town will soon be acquired to set up a safe home."
A few private hospitals have started exploring the possibility of opening satellite facilities for Covid-19 patients.
The RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences reopened a 16-bed satellite facility last week.
“The opening of the unit has enabled us to keep a few general beds for Covid patients free,” an official of the hospital said.
“We had closed down the satellite facility in January. Off late we have been receiving calls from people who wanted to get admitted in the hospital. Initially we kept them in the wards but as numbers rose we opened the satellite facility,” said R. Venkatesh, the regional head (east), of Narayana Health, the owners of RN Tagore hospital.
“If the mild patients are shifted there, the beds can be kept free for moderate and severe patients.”