GMCH main building

Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), the largest government hospital of the Northeast region for the first time in the history will shut its doors the normal OPD patients in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Informing about this step, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that the GMCH will be turned into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital from Saturday.

He was addressing the media in Guwahati on Friday, where he informed about a number of steps taken by the Assam government to counter the coronavirus cases in the worst of eventualities.

“No normal OPD patients will be treated at the GMCH from tomorrow,” Sarma said.

“However, treatment of cancer patients, gynaecology department, and emergency services will not be affected,” the health minister added.

He further informed that the state government has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 35 private hospitals of the city and the treatment of the normal OPD patients will take place in these hospitals.

“Under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Atal Amrit Abhiyan, the private hospitals have been asked to treat the normal OPD patients,” Sarma informed.

“By doing so the government hospitals could be used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Almost 100 per cent private hospitals and clinics have agreed to take the entire load of GMCH,” the health minister added.

Even though no positive coronavirus cases have been detected in Assam so far, the state government, however, is taking no chances and is taking a plenty of preventive measures.

The health minister further informed that in near future the Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) and the Silchar Medical College will also be converted to COVID-19 hospitals.

“The AMCH and the SMCH will also be converted to COVID-19 hospitals soon,” Sarma said.

“Thus, eventually we will have 4000-5000 beds in all three premier government hospitals of the state for treating COVID-19 patients,” he added.

Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday informed that the Assam government is planning to construct four temporary COVID-19 hospitals and one quarantine centre with the capacity to accommodate about 700 people.

He further informed that the four temporary hospitals will have, in total, 1200 beds (300 each).

He further informed that the quarantine centre was coming up at the Sarusojai Sports Complex in Guwahati with capacity for about 700 people.

Sarma also informed that there was enough space in the stadium to set up an isolation centre for another 1,000 persons.

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