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ESIC medical complex in Kalaburagi to house 400-bed quarantine ward to tackle COVID-19

A largely unoccupied student hostel building on campus has been identified for the purpose

As part of its preparations to handle the situation because of the spread of COVID-19 and the directions from higher-ups in the Union government, the Kalaburagi district administration is going to establish a 400-bed quarantine ward at the ESIC medical complex on the outskirts of Kalaburagi.

Addressing a media conference here on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner B. Sharat said that a students hostel building on ESIC campus, which had largely been unoccupied and detached from the main medical block, would be developed into a well-equipped quarantine ward to keep patients with symptoms of COVID-19.

To a question, the officer said that the Union government had notified the establishment of such wards in all ESIC medical complexes across India.

Precautionary measures

On the precautionary measures suggested by the State government in a video conference, Mr. Sharat said that all national and international conferences, religious carnivals and other such events where people would gather in large number would be avoided in the district.

“Our Health Department officials would be meeting the administrators of Sharanabasaveshwara Samsthan and discuss the precautionary measures to be taken during the annual Sharanabasaveshwara Jatra.

“I request people suffering from fever, cough, cold, running nose, nose congestion, sore throat and breathlessness not to attend festivities during the religious carnival,” he said.

The officer told the presspersons that the administration would shortly establish screening facilities and a helpdesk at all tourist spots in the district.

“We will shortly hold meetings with owners of shopping malls, multiplexes and other business establishments where people gather in large number and sensitise them on the precautionary measures to be taken,” he said.

As per the Union government guidelines, Mr. Sharat said, the Airports Authority of India (AUI) would collect all details, including destinations and native place in the country, of all Indians who return from foreign trips upon their landing in India and share them with the district collectors concerned for follow-up.

“We will home-quarantine all those who return from foreign countries for 14 days and monitor them, though they may not show any symptoms of COVID-19,” Mr. Sharat said.

Testing facility

Considering the increasingly mounting pressure on the National Institute of Virology, Bengaluru, for the examination of samples concerning COVID-19, the State government has decided to establish throat swab and blood sample testing facilities in Kalaburagi, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Ballari, Mr. Sharat said.

“The Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) has the required equipment for testing the samples for COVID-19. The medical staff need kits and training to start the testing. They will be provided all these facilities shortly so that the testing could be done here itself,” Mr. Sharat said.

Guidelines

Asked about the delay in transporting the samples of suspected COVID-19 patients to the Bengaluru laboratory, Mr. Sharat said that certain protocols and guidelines should be maintained in handling and transporting samples.

“We were told not to transport the samples with our medical staff as such samples could be handled by only those who were trained in it.

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