Plans for another 15 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in Bengal

The West Bengal government is planning to identify another 15 hospitals across the state as “dedicated COVID-19 hospitals” that will treat only Novel Coronavirus patients.

Currently, there are 69 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in the state, out of which 16 are state-run and the remaining private hospitals. There are 8,785 beds with 920 ICU beds and 392 ventilators in the COVID hospitals. The idea is to have more treatment facilities for COVID as the number of tests and persons testing positive are fast increasing.

Till June 1, there have been 5,772 confirmed cases in Bengal, with 271 new cases reported on Monday. Altogether 2,13,231 samples have been tested till Monday across the state in 41 laboratories.

Identifying another 15 hospitals will be done mainly outside Kolkata, as the state had a huge rise of new cases in various districts. According to officials, this surge was noticed following the coming of the trains from states that have reported high number of COVID-19 cases. Reeling under the impact of the cyclone Amphan since May 20, the Bengal government had appealed to the Centre to plan ahead and not run so many trains at the same time. The state wanted a staggered movement of the migrant workers from elsewhere in the country to West Bengal because the government lacked the infrastructure to quarantine and test the huge number of people travelling to the state in these trains.

Till now, over five lakh works have reportedly returned to Bengal in trains, buses and other modes of transport. According to the government officials, the increase in the number of hospitals will help offering better facilities as the number of cases reported have been increasing in the past one week.

The districts where the hospitals will be identified as dedicated COVID-19 hospitals will include Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Nadia, Birbhum, Howrah and Hooghly. The government has issued a directive that it would be mandatory for those coming from Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to stay in quarantine for the specified time.