Two gated communities in New Town — Elita Garden Vista and Hiland Willow Conifer Beech — have set up Covid isolation centres with oxygen support on their premises.
The department of health and family welfare had issued a revised guideline on May 12 which allowed NGOs and resident welfare associations to run isolation centres, laying out the guidelines to do the same. In place of applying for permission, all they have to do is inform the district’s chief medical officer of health.
Both isolation centres were inaugurated on Sunday by Hidco chairman Debashis Sen. Last July, Greenwood Sonata had become the first housing complex in the city to set up a safe house for its Covid-infected residents.
“The LIG (lower income group) apartments in our complex are 1 or 1.5 BHK, having a single room and toilet, which makes it difficult for an affected member of a family to isolate. The problem is there even in the MIG flats, which have two bedrooms, in case the family is big. This is why we thought of setting up an isolation centre where we can provide basic support for patients with mild symptoms,” said Munni Lal Mondal, one of the seven directors of the Hiland Willow Conifer Beech residents’ body.
There are four beds with one oxygen cylinder. “Since there are no Covid positive cases in the complex, one cylinder is sufficient for now. In case there is a need for more, the supplier has assured us of help,” he said. The centre also has a pulse oxymeter, an electric kettle and some basic medicines like paracetamol. The isolation centre has been set up in the community centre which is about 60m away from the residential block of the Action Area IIB complex. This locational segregation is one of the key parameters mentioned in the government guideline.
The isolation unit at Hiland Willows Conifer Beech that was opened on the same day Sourced by the correspondent
The oxygen supplier has given some residents a basic demonstration on how to run the cylinder and regulate the flow meter. “We have also entered a tie-up with SP Diagnostics. They have promised to help over video call and have a doctor come for a visit if needed on extra payment.”
Elita Garden Vista in Action Area III has converted two rooms on the ground floor of their club house into the isolation centre. “Last year itself, we had thought of this but we did not have the space and there was no such desperate shortage of beds as is being currently seen. But such is the situation now that we approached the builder who still has not transferred the clubhouse to us. Two residents have already died of Covid in our complex and about 30 people are currently infected. The builder agreed to let us use a part of the club house,” said Arunangshu Chakraborty, a resident who is a consultant in anaesthesia and critical care at Tata Medical Center.
The doctors in the complex have formed a medical advisory committee and are applying the standard operating procedure they follow at the hospital.
The building has a separate entrance and exit. So the medical staff, after donning PPE, can walk directly in without further scope of infection. The doffing space has a shower facility with a separate exit. The centre has four beds, each fitted with oxygen cylinders. The adjacent room is being used to store medical equipment and for the medical staff to sit.
“Other than cylinders, the unit has nebuliser, pulse oxymeter and blood pressure monitoring machine. We have six more beds with which we can scale up, if needed. We are also trying to get a bipap machine,” said Chakraborty.
Though an agreement has been signed with a private medical unit, the doctors have drawn up a weekly roster to provide back-up support.
A support group has been formed for the affected families who are being called daily and asked about grocery and medicinal requirements. Cooked food has also been sent to those in need.
Such has been the cohesiveness that when an appeal was emailed to residents seeking funds to set up the centre Rs 6 lakh was raised in a single day.
The facility, at both complexes, is free for residents who will have to pay only for medicine and doctor visit, if needed.
Neighbours in need
The Elita Garden Vista residents are not just taking care of each other. In case anyone in adjoining New Town Heights and Sukhobrishti need oxygen on an emergency basis, the complex’s medical care unit has decided to extend help, provided there are beds free in their isolation unit. “We have to assess the situation in our own complex before we take the call but we have decided in principle to help if we can,” said Chakraborty.
“One should try to look out for each other in such extraordinary circumstances and not depend on the government for everything,” he added.