Among the new initiatives,
- A new screening centre at Island Grounds will function round the clock
- The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will open a 24x7 screening centre for triaging COVID-19 patients at the Kendriya Vidyalaya Island Grounds in two days.
This is to increase bed capacity and the number of screening centres in Chennai to deal with the rising number of cases.
M.A. Siddique, Principal Secretary, Commercial Taxes Department, who has been deputed as special coordinator to the civic body for COVID-19 management told the media on Thursday that nine more screening centres would be opened shortly, apart from the 12 functioning now. He shared:
“The screening centre to come up at the Kendriya Vidyalaya Island Grounds would particularly help in preventing COVID-19 patients from queuing up in government hospitals at night.
Many are rushing directly to hospitals in ambulances or private vehicles. This can result in a longer waiting time for critically ill patients in ambulances. We do not want the situation that we are seeing in some other cities to happen here.
The Health and Family Welfare Department was increasing the number of beds reserved for providing immediate care to those brought to government hospitals in a critical condition. “This will reduce the turnaround time for ambulances,” he added.
Acknowledging that beds were filling up fast in Chennai, he said steps were being taken to ramp up capacity in the coming days. Highlighting that there were 2,545 oxygen-supported beds in the government sector, he said another 2,400 would be added shortly.
“This will be done by converting some non-oxygen beds into oxygen-supported beds and by adding new beds.”
A total of 250 additional oxygen-supported beds each at the Government Royappettai Hospital, the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology (IOG) and the Government Hospital for Women and Children in Egmore had become functional from Thursday.
He said the 500 beds being set up for the COVID Care Centre to come up at the Chennai Trade Centre would also be oxygen-supported.
Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the public could visit http://covid19. chennaicorporation.gov.in/ for all information related to COVID-19, including the location of screening centres, sample collection centres, vaccination centres, fever camps and COVID Care Centres.