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MR Bangur for coronavirus: Mamata Banerjee

'Existing patients of the hospital will be shifted to SSKM and Sambhunath Pandit hospitals'
Nurses and contractual staff agitate at MR Bangur Hospital on Friday.

Pranesh Sarkar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 03.04.20, 08:58 PM

MR Bangur Hospital in Tollygunge will be converted into a specialised hospital for treatment of coronavirus patients, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday.

“Existing patients of the hospital will be shifted to SSKM and Sambhunath Pandit hospitals,” Mamata said at Nabanna while making the announcement.


Initially, it was decided that Calcutta Medical College and Hospital will be converted into a dedicated hospital to treat coronavirus patients but the decision was changed because of some “technical” reasons, a health department official said. “Another dedicated hospital for Covid-19 patients was needed in Calcutta after the Beleghata ID hospital. We can accommodate a little over 100 patients at Beleghata.”

Once the Beleghata ID hospital is filled to capacity, patients will be admitted to MR Bangur hospital. “We can still admit some more patients at the Beleghata hospital; so, we will get some time to ready MR Bangur Hospital,” the health department official said. “In case of coronavirus, every patient needs an isolated bed. So, even a large hospital can admit a limited number of patients.”

Police said 150 nurses of MR Bangur and its members of the contractual staff agitated on the hospital compound on Friday morning to protest the government’s decision to turn it into a dedicated hospital for coronavirus patients.

The agitation started around 9.50am, an officer of Jadavpur police station said. “Around 3pm, the entire crowd had dispersed. The hospital authorities later spoke to them.”

“We have to ready everything in a few days. If the number of positive cases rises in the state, Calcutta may record the most as it is the most exposed place in the state,” a state government official said.

The chief minister said she was unhappy with the resistance in some areas. “One should realise we are setting up standalone Covid-19 hospitals. We are not setting up isolation wards in a hospital where other patients are undergoing treatment. It should be seen as a humanitarian approach as everybody has the right to get treatment,” the chief minister said while pointing out that the state had set up 59 standalone hospitals for Covid-19 patients.

People should not oppose if a coronavirus patient’s body is taken to the local crematorium, she said.

Speaking about Personal Protective Equipment, Mamata said: “We have ordered 900,000 PPEs, but received 167,000 so far… all have been sent to hospitals in the districts as well as in Calcutta. The government is trying within its limited resources.”

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