Deserted Navarangpura area in Ahmedabad on the first day of complete lockdown in Gujarat on Tuesday. (Photo: Javed Raja)
With coronavirus (COVID-19) cases going up by the day, the Gujarat government is adding to its existing facilities to quarantine and treat persons with symptoms.
Amid resentment from society residents against home quarantine, Ahmedabad is set to have over a dozen quarantine centres with around 5,000 beds across the city by Wednesday. This is in addition to the existing 500-bed quarantine facility in Ahmedabad.
As many as 134 quarantine facilities with a capacity of 6,700 beds are available across Gujarat at present. As per the state health department records, 11,108 are under quarantine with 224 persons staying at the government quarantine facilities while 10,850 are under home quarantine.
“These additional facilities are being worked out in both government and private accommodations, including college and university hostels as well as private ones run by community organisations,” said Ahmedabad collector KK Nirala.
Sources revealed that these new facilities would be set up in Samras Hostels of Gujarat University Hostels of Dental College, Gujarat Technological University, LD Engineering College as well as Saurashtra Patidar Boys and Girls Hostels.
“We are also checking the gaps in preparing these quarantine facilities right from bedsheets, pillows, blankets and minimum medical requirement, food that would be required if these are occupied,” added Nirala.
At present, quarantine facilities are available in Ahmedabad at five locations — Sports Club in Navrangpura, two private hotels in Chandkheda and two in Nikol area, including Sports Authority of Gujarat Hostel and a residential building.
Similar additional facilities are being set up in Vadodara as well. Apart from the already existing institutional quarantine facilities in the city, which include a 24-bed facility at SSG Hospital and a 10-bed facility at GMERS, a 500-bed specialised Infectious Disease Facility is being set up at GMERS.
The facility, which will be fully operational by March 30, got a 50-bed facility functional from Tuesday. “Today (Tuesday) we have finalised the 500-bed facility, which includes 150 beds for treatment and 350 beds for quarantine. Existing facilities have been upgraded for the COVID-19 facility and it will be fully operational by Monday (March 30). Another 200-bed facility will also be ready at ESI hospital in Gotri. We are also exploring other facilities which can be upgraded for the purpose,” said Officer on Special Duty to Vadodara, Vinod Rao.
With six positive cases in the city, at present 31 persons have been admitted at institutional quarantine facility while over 800 persons are home quarantined in Vadodara.
Another 300 bed facility has been finalised at the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) training centre in Pratapgunj area of the city. Confirming the development Rao said, “So in total we have a 1000 bed facility for Institutional quarantine in Vadodara. The 300 bed facility at the NHSRCL training centre is a ready to use facility and will be used for additional patients if the beds are occupied at SSG and GMERS. This has been readied for emergencies like such.”
The Vadodara district collector has also procured 46 additional ventilators from private hospitals to put to use at the Institutional quarantine facilities at SSG and GMERS. Meanwhile, these private hospitals have also provided a list of their doctors, nurses and other para medical staff members who will be available for services at the Quarantine facilities in case of emergency.
The Grand Mercure —- a five star hotel —- in GIFT City at Gandhinagar where 48 passengers from seven different countries severely affected by Corona virus were quarantined on March 18 was emptied out the next day.