Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s largest stand-alone COVID-19 Hospital, run by the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, faculty of medicine of the SOA Deemed to be University, became operational here on Monday.
The 525-bedded hospital including 25 ICU beds was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through video conferencing.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi and senior officials were also present.
A tripartite agreement was signed earlier between the Odisha government, the public sector Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and IMS and SUM Hospital here on March 26 for the establishment of the hospital. As per the agreement, MCL would be responsible for funding the facility.
IMS and SUM Hospital had extended infrastructure, patient care, critical care, laboratory and radiological support and ICU facilities for the new hospital established in a separate four-storied complex of the university located on its campus number 2 close to IMS and SUM Hospital.
The Chief Minister thanked the doctors and medical staff who had taken up the responsibility to treat COVID-19 patients while expressing his gratitude to MCL for extending financial help. He appreciated SOA’s decision to take up the responsibility and setting up the facility in record time.
Thanking the Chief Minister for taking timely and visionary steps to contain the spread of the virus, Dharmendra said the 48-hour shutdown of three major cities was a great initiative which helped identify more number of infected people. He said the COVID-19 pandemic had shaken the world and the people cutting across caste, creed and party lines must abide by the decisions being taken by the Prime Minister and the Odisha government.
Describing the new hospital as a great medical asset for the people of Odisha in the present situation, Joshi assured that the Centre would extend all support to the state in this battle against the pandemic. “l wish no one comes to this hospital, but if anyone does come to be treated he should recover and return home healthy,” he added.
The two Union ministers thanked SOA’s founder president Manoranjan Nayak for his initiative and support which led to the setting up of the COVID hospital.
Among others, Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, 5T secretary VK Pandian, Director General of Police Abhay, chief government spokesperson on COVID-19 Subroto Bagchi, SOA vice-chancellor Prof Ashok Kumar Mahapatra and chairman-cum-managing director of MCL participated in the video conferencing.
The SOA vice-chancellor thanked the Centre and the state government for providing the university with the opportunity to fight the battle against COVID-19 together. “Our dedicated team of doctors, staff nurses, technicians and other support staff will work round-the-clock to fight this battle,” he said.
Two other COVID hospitals have also been kept ready to meet any challenge that might come in future. Of these two Hospitals, one has been developed by the Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), a 500-bedded facility, and the Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack with a facility of 125 beds. Besides, the district administration of Sundargarh has set up a 200-bedded dedicated COVID hospital in Rourkela with Hi-tech MCL hospital. With this, the total bed capacity for COVID patients in the state now stands at 1345.
Official sources said that the state government is going to set up two dedicated COVID hospitals in Angul and Kendrapada in association with the SUM Hospitals in Bhubaneswar. Besides, the government has started the work to set up four lakh isolation bed facilities in 7000 panchayats.