Three-year-old Arav Mishra from Dindoli area is among the first 21 patients taken to Hiba Hospital, a repurposed commercial centre in Adajan area that went out of business during the lockdown and reopened as a Covid care centre on July 25. Arav was admitted in the New Civil Hospital (NCH) from where he was shifted to Hiba.
Aarav’s father Shyam Mishra, a textile worker in Pandesara area, said, “We don’t know how my son got the coronavirus infection. He used to play with children in the neighbourhood. We got him admitted in the civil hospital from where he was shifted to Hiba Hospital. Doctors and nurses are taking good care of him here. His condition is improving.”
Kader Shaikh, 63, a real estate developer who recovered from Covid-19 in June got his commercial centre converted into a Covid hospital, to provide affordable treatment for those who could not pay for treatment in private hospitals, and handed it over to the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC).
Shaikh told The Indian Express, “My brother who was also infected with the virus was in a private hospital and I paid Rs 12 lakh for his treatment, a bill that shocked me. It made me think of converting this commercial complex into a treatment centre for Covid-19.”
He waived the rent for a couple of tenants who were told to vacate the premises. The hospital was set up in the 30,000-square feet space in Shreyam complex, where his office functions on the ground floor.
Shaikh got the 85-bed Covid hospital and named it after his two-year-old granddaughter. The hospital with an ICU ward and oxygen facilities was handed over to Municipal commissioner BN Pani, in the presence of state BJP president CR Paatil, a few days ago.
SMC has deployed of 27 male and female nurses, 3 BAMS doctors, 2 MBBS doctors and 2 MD doctors at the facility. Patients with moderate symptoms are being referred from SMC-run SMIMER hospital and New Civil Hospital to Hiba Hospital.
Milap Parmar (32), a resident of Paal area in Surat, who has been undergoing treatment at Hiba Hospital, said “I work in a private firm and have been working from home. I am the first to be infected in my family and my family members are quarantined.”
SMC deputy health commissioner Dr Ashish Naik said, “At present only patients with moderate symptoms are shifted to Hiba Hospital. We will further decide on shifting midly critical patients after seeing the recovery rate. The ICU ward is empty at present.” Till Thursday, six patients were discharged and there were 17 still under treatment.
“I was doing business from here and now I will shift to some other place. This pandemic has affected the finances of every person,” said Shaikh adding that work has started on installing a patients’ lift in the hospital. The treatment costs will be borne by the SMC.
He added, “I am happy that patients here are getting free treatment, and will be happier when they recover and go home. I wanted to help people irrespective of their caste, creed and religion… it has been fulfilled. I have also told the medical professionals that if any poor patient requires medicines from outside, they can call me, and I will arrange medicines for them also.”