As fresh cases of COVID-19 continue to surge, health authorities have set up two more COVID care centres in Tiruchi. But there are concerns over lack of basic facilities at the venues.
The Nehru Memorial College at Puthanampatti near Thuraiyur and Kurinji Engineering College near Manapparai are the new centres identified to accommodate patients. It is learnt that each of them can accommodate 120 to 150 patients. The hostels used by boys were identified to convert them as care centres. It was aimed at accommodating patients with mild symptoms belonging to the surroundings of Manapparai and Thuraiyur at the new centres. They were in addition to the two centres established in Tiruchi such as the city campus of Bharathidasan University at Khajamalai and Government College of Engineering at Sethurapatti. They have the capacity to accommodate about 740 patients at any given time.
It is alleged that they do not have basic facilities except drinking water and toilets. Most of them are common toilets. Moreover, the centres do not have other facilities such as oxygen and hot water.
“During a pandemic situation like this, most patients have no other option but to accept facilities offered by the government. But we need separate toilet facilities for patients. It is a must,” said a patient discharged from the COVID care centre at Khajamalai.
Many of them are of the view that makeshift centres can be established with sufficient water, toilet and basic medical facilities to treat patients with mild symptoms. There should be foolproof arrangement to clean the toilets frequently to check spread of infection.
N. Jamaludeen, a social activist, says patients are often asked to drink hot water and inhale steam. But the patients admitted to COVID care centres are hardly given hot water. The services of the hospitality industry can be roped in to provide basic amenities to the patients.
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