Punjab’s first school ready for 1,000-bed isolation centre

Chandigarh, April 26 (IANS) The administration in the holy city of Amritsar in Punjab has converted a residential school into a 1,000-bedded care isolation centre for COVID-19 asymptomatic patients with technological innovation, the first in the state, officials said on Sunday.

The centre, set up in the Meritorious School, is essentially for asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms — isolation is the key, Special Chief Secretary K.B.S. Sidhu, who is in-charge to monitor statewide coronavirus cases, informed in a tweet.

Similar centres would also come up at Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Mohali cities.

Sidhu told IANS the technological innovation has been prepared locally, in order to reduce the person-to-person contact.

He said a remote controlled device would serve water, food, medicines, etc., to the patients in the wards without an attendant having to go in.

“Appreciated by the medical and support staff,” Sidhu added.

The state Education Department has dedicated hostels in its 10 meritorious schools as Covid Care Isolation Centres with a bed capacity of 8,346.

Officials told IANS nearly 200 classrooms could be used by the healthcare staff.

Deputy Commissioner Shivdular Singh Dhillon said the Covid Care Centre in Amritsar would be operational before its deadline of commissioning on April 30.

He said the centre would have a counselling and laundry centres. The outer security of the centre would be provided by the state police.

Fourteen people in Amritsar have been diagnosed with the coronavirus till date with two patients dead.

Four patients, including a nine-year-old boy, all contacts of late Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa, were discharged from the Fortis Hospital in Amritsar on Friday.

They were originally treated in the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar and they had been shifted to the Fortis at the request of the family.

At present, Amritsar has seven active cases.