Guwahati, Jun 10 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday dedicated a 300-bed Covid Care Hospital, built in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to the people on the occasion of the completion of the first 30 days of his government.
The hospital, built within just 20 days and at a cost of Rs 21.46 crore, will act as an annexe to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.
Oil India Limited and ICICI Bank have also extended support to the project with Rs 2 crore and Rs 1.5 crore respectively.
On the occasion, the chief minister also inaugurated a 20-bed ICU and 32 oxygen supported beds at Kalapahar Covid Care Hospital, which will also be an annexe to GMCH.
Sarma thanked the DRDO for setting up the hospital within a record time of around 20 days and for having been a generous partner in this critical project.
The chief minister described it as a fine example of Centre-state collaboration and collective spirit of the government of Assam and the people of the state.
The hospital will have a life span of five years, which can be further extended with minimum infrastructure boost up, and there will be 100 ICU beds and oxygen facility will also be made available to other 200 beds, he said.
A liquid oxygen tank has been set up at the hospital, which will be refilled weekly, the chief minister added.
During the last 30 days, 465 ICU beds, including those with ventilation facility, and 2684 oxygen supported beds were added to the medical institutions, he said.
Sarma said that 200 ICU beds at GMCH will be made functional in the next 10 days and the government is working to set up at least 15 ICU beds in every district hospital.
In view of flood and erosion affecting a large population every year in the state, the CM urged DRDO to consider setting up makeshift housing facilities for people to take shelter during natural calamities.
Sarma told a press conference that vaccination has been further intensified to cover all categories of people above 18 years and from June 21, the state would start getting free vaccine from the Centre which will be a big relief to the state government.
'We have adopted a policy of strategic vaccination by intensifying it in districts where Covid positive cases are high. In cities and towns like Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Tezpur, Silchar and Nagaon, it is being aggressively administered,' he said.
Sarma said that there are indications that the state may get 3.5 lakh vaccines per day from July one and, 'if we get this, we will be able to complete the first dose of all eligible persons above the age of 18 by August 15'.
He said that 1000 Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) will be set up to strengthen health infrastructure for children needing critical treatment.
Sarma claimed that Assam is the only state 'where we are trying to control Covid without imposing total lockdown and only by imposing restrictions, so that people are not economically affected'.
Due to advance planning, there was no shortage of oxygen supply in the state and 'we produced, consumed and even distributed it to other North Eastern states. We shared our resources during the pandemic peak and discharged our responsibilities to our sister states, he said. PTI DG NN NN