A medical college in Kerala’s Kasaragod district had been under construction for the last four years. The foundation stone of the medical college was laid in 2013 by the previous Congress regime in the state and construction began in 2016. Only a four-storey administrative bloc of the proposed medical college had been constructed so far.
In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the college has been converted into a COVID-19 hospital within four days. The administrative bloc serves as the hospital itself, with power supply made available to the building only last week. Equipment worth Rs 7 crore was installed.
With 128 active cases, Kasaragod has almost half of Kerala’s COVID-19 patients. With Karnataka closing its border over the virus scare, the health infrastructure in the district has been under strain since the lockdown began.
In the first stage, this special hospital would have 200 beds and 10 ICUs. Another 100 beds and 10 ICUs would be readied soon.
State Health Minister K K Shailaja said that at the behest of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, a modern COVID-19 treatment centre was made operational within four days.
After a review meeting, Vijayan told media that the state is ready to meet any eventuality. As many as 1.25 lakh beds are available in the government and private sectors. Besides, in 517 corona-care centres, 17,461 isolation beds have been readied and 38 are already functioning, he said.
Toll of Kerala expats rises to 18
The number of COVID-19 deaths among Kerala expatriates rose to 18 on Monday, with eight of them in the US. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media, “We have been able to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kerala. Our efforts are showing results but we are concerned about its spread in the world, especially among the Malayali expatriate community.”
Officials at the Department of Non Resident Keralites Affairs said several expatriates have been infected. Many others want to return to Kerala, expecting better healthcare. “But everyone is helpless at this stage. The infected include nurses and caregivers in old-age homes,” sources said.
(Express News Service)
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