Coronavirus | Mini-covid care centres in Chandigarh ease patients’ burden

Besides doctors and nurses, they are also providing free food, medicines and care.

As Chandigarh, joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, continues its battle against COVID-19, the setting-up of “mini-Covid care centres” across the city by charitable trusts and NGOs etc has come as a relief, easing patients’ burden in the Union Territory.

As many as nine mini-Covid care centres have been set-up in the past few days with 400 beds and four such centres are already operational to cater to those with mild symptoms. According to the Chandigarh administration data as on Monday, 79 of the 384 beds have been occupied.

The centres have professional doctors and nurses available to attend to the patients. They are also providing free food, medicines and necessary care. Many of them have arranged for providing oxygen through cylinders and concentrators.

Amid the rise in the cases and the number of exclusive beds at the government hospitals close to saturation, the UT administration had last month given a call to various groups and associations to come forward in scaling up the bed capacity by setting-up such centres.

“We have set-up a 50-bed centre that can be scaled up to 100 beds. The centre will soon be operational after inspection by officials. Currently, 40 beds have oxygen facility, for which we have a dedicated pipeline. As a back-up, we have also kept a stock of concentrators. The way the pandemic exploded during the second wave, it would have been difficult for anybody even the government to handle it alone. It’s our little bit of contribution towards society. People who have resources they can avail themselves of the services at private facilities, but there are people who don’t have resources — be it money or connections. People can come here as the facilities are free of cost. Food, medicine, oxygen etc everything is free of cost at the centre,” said Amardeep Singh of United Sikhs, an NGO.

Acknowledging the role of the NGOs, charitable and religious trusts etc in running the centres, Punjab Governor cum Administrator (Chandigarh) V.P. Singh Badnore said the administration was ensuring that quality treatment was being extended to patients. “At the centres, we are ensuring that patients get quality food and other services as well. We also make it a point that patients can talk to their family members because attendants may not be allowed,” he said.

Mr. Badnore said the centres have been attached to the government hospitals of the city whose doctors would be periodically inspecting them.

Arunesh Agarwal of Bharat Vikas Parishad, who is managing the affairs of a centre, said doctors, nurses along with all necessary services are available round the clock.

Another centre has been set-up by the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Sewa Society. Associated with the Society, Sukhjinder Pal Singh said they are providing piped oxygen to all 50 beds at the centre.

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