The public works department’s proposal to get MLA Hostel and Ravi Bhavan vacated for the winter session of the state legislature has found support from doctors and paramedics at other Covid Care Centres (CCCs) and quarantine facilities where they have been working non-stop for the last six months.
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), district administration and public health department are running two more CCCs in the city — VNIT hostels and Pachpaoli — which have remained underutilized since these were brought into Covid service on July 26.
Both the CCCs have over 1,000 beds. The capacity at VNIT can be further ramped up, if needed. However, staff shortage had remained a perennial issue at these facilities.
In case the two CCC centres (MLA Hostel and Ravi Bhavan) are shut, the staff there would not only be available for other two CCCs but also at IGGMCH and GMCH.
VNIT has two nodal officers given its large size, while Pachpaoli CCC has just one woman doctor incharge.
One of the doctors said the nodal officers have been managing the centres since they were hosting high risk suspects in large numbers. At Pachpaoli, where 89 patients are admitted, the staff also has to deal with hundreds of people daily walking in for Covid testing.
“The workload is intense and the staff definitely needs a backup team for rotating duties and giving occasional offs to overworked members,” said a centre official.
Another official said though on paper the staff seems adequate at VNIT and Pachpaoli CCCs, some are either in isolation due to Covid infection or not reporting to work for unexplained reasons.
Regarding accommodating additional patients, a doctor said VNIT is having only 60 patients while its capacity can go up to 700. MLA Hostel has 170 patients as on date. “MLA Hostel had attached toilets and its central location made it the preferred CCC,” said the doctor.
Divisional commissioner Sanjeev Kumar said no decision on shifting patients from MLA Hostel and Ravi Bhavan has been taken yet.
Nagpur District Congress Committee, led by West Nagpur MLA Vikas Thakre, met Kumar and submitted a memorandum seeking cancellation of the winter session. In a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, the party supported Thakre’s demand to hold winter session in Mumbai this time due to Covid spread in Nagpur. The party also apprehended that movement of officials and policemen in large numbers beside others will increase cross-infection in several districts.
(With inputs from TimesOfIndia)