Anantnag’s Covid hospital a disaster in the making

Anantnag’s Covid hospital a disaster in the making

Anantnag: The Covid-19 designated hospital here in Akoora area of Anantnag district has all the makings of a disaster given that the hospital is devoid of even basic facilities like a diagnostic lab, X-Ray, and even security guards.

This New Type Primary Health Centre (NTPHC) was under construction when the pandemic started last year. Many such buildings, including this under- construction building, were designated as administrative quarantine centers across Kashmir.

The building was used as a quarantine centre for a few months and was then abandoned while the local PHC continues to share an old building with the local veterinary centre.

In a bizarre move, the administration recently declared the hospital as a Covid-19 hospital. The hospital is among 15 other hospitals in the valley which have been designated so.

Sources in the health department, however, are calling the move an “eyewash”.

“I don’t know who took the decision but it is absurd to think of this half-complete building as a Covid hospital,” a source in the health department told Kashmir Reader.

He said that the hospital does not have basic facilities like a pathology, X-Ray, or even security guards. “We are not even talking about an oxygen plant and oxygen cylinders. A few concentrators have been sent to the facility recently and that is about it,” the source said.

Other staff in the health department that Kashmir Reader talked to also criticised the decision. “The hospital will be used for Covid patients. It is not a matter of if but a matter of when, given the situation around us,” a doctor from Anantnag told Kashmir Reader.

He said that the Government Medical College Hospital is already full and patients are being referred to other places from there. “What I want to say is that we will need this hospital in the coming days and I fear the time when that happens,” the doctor said.

Kashmir Reader talked to Block Medical Officer (BMO) Mattan, who acknowledged the lack of facilities at the hospital. He however maintained that the hospital was for patients with mild symptoms and not for serious patients.

“We can always refer the patient to GMC, if he needs specialised care,” the BMO said. The fact that the GMC is already full makes his assurance futile, though.

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