Amid decline in COVID cases, JK Admin plans to utilise DRDO hospitals for ‘other purpose’

A health care employee donned COVID kit pushes wheelchair outside hospital in Srinagar [FPK File Photo/Zainab]

Srinagar: As COVID is on a decline and a very less percentage of such patients are in need of hospitalization, the two Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir continue to remain defunct while the administration is seriously planning to utilize these hospitals for ‘other purpose’.

Top health officials while talking to the news agency Kashmir News Observer said that these hospitals are equipped with Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with hundreds of ventilators, including those meant for children and infants; there is a facility of high-flow oxygen in every bed; huge bed capacity but the government must take steps so that it won’t get waste.

They said that in the third wave and after that hardly any patient was admitted to these hospitals, then for what these hospitals are, and what is the fun of equipping these facilities with expensive machinery?

“There should have been general advisory that all COVID patients requiring hospitalization should be admitted in DRDO hospitals only so that rest of the hospitals can function normally and won’t have to make separate arrangements for COVID patients but that is not happening,” they added.

A senior doctor told Kashmir News Observer that given the location and infrastructure of DRDO hospitals in Srinagar, they can be converted for treatment of ‘infectious diseases’.

He said that there are many infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, Influenza, Diarrhoeas of various kinds, Dengue, Malaria, and all such patients can be treated under one umbrella at DRDO hospital and can help in the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases and less load on other hospitals.

Pertinently, these hospitals were set up within a few weeks in May 2021, during the second wave of COVID when almost every patient was requiring hospitalization and bilateral pneumonia was common.

Both hospitals are equipped with a 125 bedded ICU and the remaining 375 beds have high-flow oxygen connectivity.

These hospitals have strong oxygen generation plants having a capacity of 56000 liter capacity of Liquid Medical Oxygen each.

Meanwhile, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar said that the government is examining the matter and they are yet to take any decision about it.

“Matter is being examined how to utilize these health facilities in a better way,” he said.


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