To cut down on the increasing load on government-run COVID-19 hospitals in Ahmedabad, two private hospitals have offered services to affected patients, free of cost.
Lokhandwala Hospital in Dariyapur, run by Ahmedabad-based trust Issa Foundation in Saraspur, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to offer free treatment to COVID-19 patients, starting Friday.
AMC-run SVP Hospital has already reached its maximum capacity of 1,000 beds, with new patients being admitted at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.
“This is the first private hospital to come forward and offer services without any charge to COVID-19 patients. The hospital will provide food twice a day and is well-equipped with medical facilities, doctors and para medical staff,” said AMC Commissioner Vijay Nehra.
“If required, the existing 50-bed capacity can be increased to 200. The hospital has a total staff of 72. We approached municipal authorities to offer our services after we realised that patient load is increasing on government-run hospitals,” said Maulana Habib Ahmed, president of Issa Foundation. The foundation also runs a madrassa (Islamic institution) in Saraspur, that has been turned into a COVID-19 care centre. Over 250 persons who tested negative are currently under quarantine there.
The other private hospital offering free treatment to COVID-19 patients is SMS Multispeciality Hospital in Chandkheda area. It also has a medical college, MK Shah Medical College and Research Centre. Its hundred-bed facility — which may also be increased if required — will be available for COVID-19 patients by end of this week, Nehra said.
The state government is working on setting up another hospital, run by the Gujarat Cancer Society in Naroda area, to function as a COVID-19 hospital. A team of officials, led by Additional Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar, is making arrangements for the same.
Private clinics in the six red zone wards of the old city are also set to start functioning on Friday. “We held a meeting with private doctors and we appealed them to start fever clinics offering Outpatient Department services, so that treatment for patients with fever are provided timely, which in turn will help in detecting coronavirus cases. AMC will provide them facilities like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, gloves, N95 masks, sanitisers, medicines, and even fumigation if required,” Nehra added.
Liquid medical oxygen tank
A liquid medical oxygen tank, with a capacity of 20 kilolitre oxygen, has been set up at SVP Hospital at an estimated cost of one crore. The tank is equipped with a sensor and a telemetry device, which sends signals to its manufacturing company in Dahej, Bharuch district, when the oxygen level drops below 40%. The company then supplies units to replenish oxygen in the tanks.
SVP hospital has provided treatment facilities to over 2,200 suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients so far.
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