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Two sports complexes to turn into 50-bed Covid centres in Chandigarh

Officials said that each mini Covid care centre will be a 50-bed facility and will operate initially for a period of one month. Work at the Sector 8 Mini Sports Complex is in the final stages, they added. Once ready, both the Covid care centres will provide basic hospital care to patients.

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh |
May 7, 2021 9:04:12 am
Chandigarh covid centres, Chandigarh news, Chandigrah sports complex, sports complexes to turn into Covid centres, Indian expressPrepations going on at Sector 8 Mini Sports Complex. (Express photo)

The UT Administration has handed over Sector 8 Mini Sports Complex to a Chandigarh-based NGO to be turned into a mini Covid care centre. The Sector 43 Sports Complex, too, is to be handed over to the Chandigarh chapter of a USA-based NGO soon for the same purpose.

Officials said that each mini Covid care centre will be a 50-bed facility and will operate initially for a period of one month. Work at the Sector 8 Mini Sports Complex is in the final stages, they added. Once ready, both the Covid care centres will provide basic hospital care to patients.

“The two organisations received permission from Yashpal Garg, CEO of Chandigarh Housing Board and also the Nodal Officer for Mini Covid care centres to be converted into 50-bed Covid facilities. We have handed over the Mini Sports Complex-8 and will hand over the Sector 43 Sports Complex to the respective NGO later this week. The badminton courts at Sector 8 have been covered with PVC sheets. Since we closed all the sports stadiums last week, there cannot be a better way to utilise these facilities in these tough times,” said Tejdeep Singh Saini, director sports, UT Administration.

While the social organisations will make arrangements for beds, food, oxygenated beds, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, medical staff, medicines, PPE kits, manager and security guards, the UT Administration will provide permission, regulation of admission of patients, ambulances, periodic visit by doctors and garbage collection facilities. The UT Sports department currently has more than 20 sports complexes and stadiums and the Sector 43 Sports Complex has one multi-purpose hall, apart from two small halls serving as badminton, squash and table tennis facilities. “The Chandigarh chapter of the US-based United Sikhs will run the mini Covid care centre at Sector 43. We applied for permission on Thursday and got the approval. Our team from Delhi will arrive soon and set up the centre. Apart from 80 percent oxygenated beds, we are also bringing in 50-60 oxygen concentrators that we purchased through donations abroad and sent to India. If needed, we plan to add 50 more beds to each facility. We believe that the way the pandemic has spread, all of us need to be together in this fight,” said Amardeep Singh, Chandigarh representative of United Sikhs.

The Sector 8 Mini Sports Complex at Government Model Senior Secondary School was virtually inaugurated by VP Badnore, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator last month and has three indoor badminton courts and swimming pool. Sector 8-based social organisation Sri Sathya Sai Gramin Jagriti, will run the 50-bed centre. “We discussed the idea of helping the UT Administration last week. Citizens like Rohina Khullar, Tejbir Singh from Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Sector 46, and industrialists Rajesh Aggarwal and Satish Garg have helped to purchase things like oximeters, oxygen cylinders, regulators, concentrators. We hope to get support from more citizens. This fight against Covid can be long and we are ready to extend support for as long as it is needed,” said Amar Aggarwal, trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Gramin Jagriti.

Some coaches and players of both the sports complexes, however, expressed reservations against the move and said the decisions should not be long term and must be reviewed. “We understand that no training has been happening due to closure of stadiums due to the increase in Covid cases. But such a step cannot be a long term solution. Hopefully the situation improves and players are allowed to train again with proper sanitization,” said a coach.

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