Published: 18th May 2021
IIT Gandhinagar comes out with Whitepaper to help other Institutions set up in-house COVID care facilities
Institute had converted a Guesthouse to COVID care facility in April, treating more than 240 patients, a strategy now being advocated by the Health Ministry in its latest guidelines issued on 17th May
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar has come out with a Whitepaper on the COVID-19 Care Facility ii established in the campus during April 2021 to tackle the surge in cases in campus and local community during the second wave of the pandemic. The institute is keen that other institutions and communities across the country benefit from their experience in setting up this in-house COVID care facility and reduce the pressure on healthcare facilities across India.
Also, the Union Ministry of Health on Monday advocated for the creation of 30-bed COVID Care Centres in schools, community halls, panchayat buildings, educational institutions, housing societies and other communities. This will go a long way in relieving the pressure on India’s medical infrastructure, which is severely strained with shortages of beds, oxygen concentrators, oxygen tanks and respirators, among other facilities.
Recently, IITGN converted its newly-built guest house to a COVID care facility that served not only to provide relief to hundreds of infected members of the community but contributed in a small way to relieving the added burdens these COVID positive patients would have otherwise imposed on Ahmedabad’s and Gandhinagar’s health infrastructure.
More than 240 COVID patients were served at the facility from April 1 to May 15 including a peak of 95 in mid-April 2021. All but one patient had been released from the facility. At its peak during April 2021, IIT Gandhinagar had a total of 248 active COVID-19 cases, of which 162 were on campus and the remaining among off-campus students, staff, outsourced workers, and their families.
Explaining the motive behind developing and releasing this Whitepaper, Sudhir Jain, Director, IITGN, said, “We are experiencing an unprecedented global health crisis that demands unconventional and urgent action to support and care for each other.”
Further, Sudhir Jain said, “At IITGN, we did not have the benefit of a guiding document or a Standard Operating Procedure that we could follow at the start. We evolved with every challenge and learnt lessons during the process. This Whitepaper is released with the hope that our experience and lessons can inform other institutions and organiations interested in developing similar facilities to support their communities during the pandemic. We are glad that we could do our bit to reduce the burden on the medical infrastructure of the state and at the same time provide safe and critical medical care for Covid patients in our community.”
IITGN’s COVID Care Facility provided hard-to-access health services, such as oxygen contractors, respirators, and basic health services, up to the point that the patient required hospitalisation. Equally important, it isolated the Covid positive patient from his family, roommates and neighbors who could be infected, reducing the spread of the virus. In the process, the facility contributed not just to servicing its community, but also reducing the burden on the national healthcare system.