Residential schools, colleges, hostels to serve as COVID-19 care centres in Kalaburagi

Residential schools, colleges, hostels and convention halls spread across Kalaburagi district are to be converted into COVID-19 care centres.

The decision was taken in a meeting that Mines and Geology Minister and Kalaburagi in-charge Murugesh R. Nirani held with the Deputy Commissioner, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Panchayat, the District Health and Family Welfare Officer and other senior functionaries in the district administration on Wednesday. The move was expected to help people with COVID-19 infection, especially those in rural areas, who are struggling to isolate themselves due to the lack of basic facilities.

“People who tested positive for COVID-19 in villages are facing a lot of problems due to the lack of proper sanitation facilities such as dedicated toilets, bathrooms and rooms. Not all households in villages have independent toilets. Infected people sharing rooms and toilets with other family members may lead to further spread of the virus infecting others as well. We can isolate and provide better treatment to rural patients by housing them in residential schools and hostels after converting these facilities into COVID-19 care centres,” Mr. Nirani said in a media note.

He added that he would appoint taluk-wise nodal officers in two-three days to manage the centres.

On the shortage of oxygen supply in the district, the Minister said that the government is trying to fix the problem of transportation of oxygen cylinders. “Oxygen is available. But we are having a problem of transportation. We are holding talks with transporters and the problem will be solved in two-three days. We will ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen to hospitals in the district till the end of this health crisis,” he said

Elaborating on oxygen management, the Minister said that unused oxygen in a cylinder could be used for other patients as all COVID-19 patients may not necessarily need oxygen all the time.

“An independent floor for beds with oxygen will be arranged in all hospitals in Kalaburagi to ensure hassle-free treatment for patients. Ventilators which were supplied to the district during the first wave last year will be put to use,” Mr. Nirani maintained.

On complaints of illegal sale and overpricing of Remdesivir vials in the black market, Mr. Nirani said that police will crack down on black marketeers by tracking down the names of beneficiaries.

“Doctors and medical staff who administer Remdesivir to a patient must mention the name, address and mobile number of such patient on the vial. The district police will check these vials and act accordingly, if there are discrepancies,” the Minister said.

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