Senior IAS officer MA Siddique, the special coordinator for COVID-19 prevention in Chennai, said that the screening centre would come up in Island Grounds. “COVID patients with mild symptoms are also coming directly to the major hospitals, resulting in crowding of ambulances. Due to this, those with severe conditions are not able to get treatment on time. The 24x7 screening centre will solve the issue,” he said.
Apart from the facility at Island Grounds, the civic body is also planning nine new screening centres in addition to the present 12 screening centres. Also, beds have been created at government hospitals to treat COVID patients temporarily till they are allocated proper beds. Presently, patients are made to wait in ambulances that reduces the ambulance response time.
Other than the new screening centres, measures have also been taken to convert 500 beds in Chennai Trade Centre in Nandambakkam into oxygen beds. The Chennai Trade Centre functions as COVID care centre. Plans are there to create COVID care centres with oxygen beds at two other places in the city.
In total, the major government hospitals have 2,545 oxygen beds while private hospitals have 2,500. “In 10 days, the number of oxygen beds in the city will be increased by 2,400. As many as 500 new oxygen beds have been created in IOG hospital in Egmore and 250 at Royapettah Government Hospital,” Siddique said.
Of the more than 31,000 active cases in the city as of Wednesday, around 25,000 patients are under home isolation and 2,732 persons are in COVID care centres. Remaining patients are in hospitals.