At present, more than 10 HEIs were functioning as COVID care centres where patients with mild symptoms are treated. The beds in the government’s COVID care centres are filling up rapidly due to the high caseload.
A senior official from the Higher Education Department said several HEI managements had evinced interest in converting their premises as COVID centre in a bid to help the government.
“More than 20 HEIs, including some self-financing institutions, have already come forward in this regard,” he said, adding. “however, the authorities, with the help of health experts, would inspect the locations to ensure that all the facilities, including basic amenities like drinking water hygienic toilet facilities, are in place.”
Stating that even some colleges have come forward to set up beds at their cost, the official said, “during the first phase, the authorities were planning to set up a minimum of 5,000 beds.”
The authorities were not just planning care centres but beds with oxygen handy, he added. The official said the HEIs had been strictly told not to call students, professors and even administrative staff to the institution to carry out any academic activities.
“However, students and faculty were also asked to create awareness among the people about the availability of COVID care centres through online means. They have also been told to spread the importance of taking the COVID vaccine,” he said.
The government has been scampering to provide treatment facilities to people in the massive second wave that struck the country. The authorities started looking at quick conversion of usable spaces as the case load spiked in the recent months. A challenge although has been to ensure oxygen to these newly set up facilities.