The newly established Covid care facility at IIT Gandhinagar, which is equipped with ambulances. | Photo courtesy: IIT Gandhinagar
The newly established Covid care facility at IIT Gandhinagar, which is equipped with ambulances. | Photo courtesy: IIT Gandhinagar
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New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar released a white paper Tuesday to share its experience of developing and managing an on-campus Covid-19 care centre — an isolation facility with medical care — in a bid to encourage other educational institutions to do the same.

According to the institute, it successfully managed a peak load of 95 patients at the facility in April and brought the load down to just one patient by 16 May. It claimed that 94 per cent of those who availed the facility didn’t need hospitalisation.

The institute said 248 members, including those on or commuting to campus, tested positive for Covid in April. Of these, 240 were housed at the facility.

In a separate statement to release the paper, the institute said efforts like these will go a long way in battling the pandemic.

“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,” the statement said.

The facility

Created in IIT Gandhinagar’s newly-developed guest house, the Covid care centre has provisions for 190 beds.

At the start of this year, the institute had a community of around 2,000 residents — comprising 1,200 resident students, 800 faculty members, regular and contractual staff and their families who lived on campus. The facility is meant to cater to them.

To handle patients at the isolation centre, the facility had a 21-person staff. The institute also utilised the facilities of medical staff from the health centre situated on the campus.

Patients weren’t charged for accommodation, but they had to bear the costs for food and medical tests and facilities.


Also read: Arvind Kejriwal asks Centre to cancel flight services with Singapore over new Covid strain


How it works

Detailing the process of the facility’s creation, the white paper said a Covid isolation facility is structured around two principal verticals — administrative and medical.

“The administrative requirements involve creating the infrastructure for the isolation units, i.e. identifying and preparing the units for isolation, maintenance, housekeeping, food supply, laundry, garbage disposal and cleaning of units, etc. Proper protocols for food delivery, housekeeping, maintenance services and other tasks need to be developed to ensure the safety of staff,” the document said.

Careful sanitisation of rooms for maintenance services and before intake and after outtake is also crucial, as is making adequate N95 masks available, it said.

On medical facilities, the document said, “IITGN happens to have a health centre on campus. So, in addition to providing isolation services, the facility coordinated with its health team to provide basic medical services, such as medicines, temperature and oxygen monitoring, conducting or arranging services for RT-PCR tests of suspected or confirmed patients, and facilitating the transport of critical patients to hospitals, etc.”

Additionally, oxygen concentrators and cylinders were also made available on the site.

“Two nursing staff provided 24×7 coverage at the facility and one physician serviced rounds of more serious patients while another was available for remote consultation,” the institute said.

Other institutes with Covid facility

While IIT Gandhinagar isn’t the only institute to have come up with a Covid care facility, it is the first to develop a ready reckoner for other institutions in the form a white paper that other institutions can follow.

So far, IIT Madras has donated one of its hostels to the Chennai Municipal Corporation to be converted to a Covid care facility. The Anna University and the Victoria Hostel in the city have also been converted to a Covid care facility.


Also read: Daily Covid deaths are rising even as cases decline. Here’s why


 

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