Assam govt will provide support to private hospitals in setting up of oxygen units

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Guwahati: Assam has installed eight oxygen plants in government hospitals and the state government would provide support to private hospitals and nursing homes for setting up of their own units, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.

After the COVID crisis hit the state, the government has installed eight oxygen plants, producing 5.25 metric tonnes of oxygen per day, in five medical colleges of the state, he said.

Three units producing 2.13 MT per day, have been set up in Gauhati Medical College Hospital, two units, producing 1.24 MT at Jorhat Medical College Hospital and one unit each, producing 0.62 metric tonnes, at Tezpur, Barpeta and Diphu Medical Colleges, the minister said.

Five more units are in the process of being installed and two more units will become operational in the next few days, he added.

The minister, who held a meeting with owners of private nursing homes and hospitals on Saturday night, urged them to set up their own oxygen units and “if support is needed, the government will be happy to help”.

Meanwhile, the state government has directed the Deputy Commissioners or authorities delegated by the Deputy Commissioners to constitute area-wise ”home quarantine committees” in case of villages, urban locality, apartment complexes and any other area of habitation, comprising representatives of prominent public bodies and societies.

The home quarantine committee are authorised to file complaints to the local police stations in case any individual violates home quarantine and these complaints will be converted to FIRs by the police authorities for initiating legal action, an official order stated.

In case of violation of home quarantine by a government employee, he/she will be liable for disciplinary action, in addition to legal action.

Meanwhile, another order issued by the Health and Family Welfare department directed that the drivers, handymen and others of goods carrying vehicles entering Assam through Srirampur and Chagolia check gates bordering West Bengal will have to undergo COVID-19 testing at their final destination places in Assam. Passengers of private and commercial vehicles entering Assam through these check gates will have to undergo Rapid Antigen Test at the Srirampur and Chagolia check gates and the Deputy Commissioners of Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts will take necessary steps in this direction. The dhabas along the highways, frequented by vehicles coming from outside the state, will be kept under surveillance and random COVID-19 screening and testing will be carried out at these locations, the order stated. Regarding diet of COVID patients in Medical College hospitals and COVID Care centres, the maximum rate would be fixed at Rs 300 per day, including all four meals and bottled water.

The authorities will encourage private entrepreneurs to set up canteens outside the hospitals/COVID Care centres from where hospital attendants can purchase additional food items for the patients if they so desire.

Home-cooked food will be also allowed to be provided to COVID-19 patients through the hospital authorities, the order stated. PTI

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