CHIMPU, Jul 14: Following the government’s decision to convert the newly constructed MLA apartments here into a 40-bedded Covid hospital, the residents of the locality have erupted in protest, stating that it would put the entire locality at risk.
The government took the decision as the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) in Naharlagun is overwhelmed with Covid-19-related workload.
“The MLA apartments are surrounded by many colonies that come under Ward No 1. So far our area is a green zone with no returnees. The government has decided to convert these apartments into a Covid hospital, which would bring Covid-19 patients, so we are opposing it, because it would expose us to the virus,” said an angry resident, speaking to a local news channel.
“Is the government trying to put thousands of residents of four-five colonies in danger?” he asked, adding that the master drainage of the apartments passes through several colonies.
He said the Covid hospital should be located at an isolated place, without endangering the public.
The residents on Tuesday erected a bamboo barricade, obstructing the approach road to the MLA apartments, stating that they would not allow the government to convert the apartments into a Covid hospital.
On being contacted, Itanagar Capital Region DC Komkar Dulom said that the district administration would initiate steps to resolve the issue with the residents.
Libang inspects apartments
Prior to the protest, Health Minister Alo Libang, accompanied by Health Secretary P Parthiban, TRIHMS Director Dr Moji Jini and other officials visited the MLA apartments to assess the feasibility of converting it into a makeshift Covid hospital.
The team inspected every section of the establishment, particularly the clubhouse building, where the makeshift hospital with all basic facilities, including an ICU, would be established.
Speaking to reporters, Libang informed that “there is a need to segregate the existing dedicated Covid hospital at TRIHMS with the increasing cases in the state.
“We do not want our health workers as well as other patients at the TRIHMS to be infected with Covid-19 during this hour. We have to look after other patients, apart from those with Covid-19,” Libang said, and sought cooperation from all.
The apartments have sufficient number of rooms to install all Covid-related equipment, besides space for separate wards for males and females, and rooms for health workers, Libang informed.
The minister asked the officials to “put up files to clear all the hindrances,” in order to turn the apartments into a makeshift Covid hospital.
“The lives of people matter; so let’s start the work and not keep waiting for clearance of files,” he said.
Dr Jini informed that the initial proposal is to convert the apartments into a 40-bedded Covid hospital.
“However, if required, other blocks of the MLA cottage will also be used,” he said.
Responding to a query on the under-construction prefabricated hospital in Midpu, Parthiban informed that only those with moderate symptoms of Covid-19 will be treated there.
“The Covid hospital at MLA cottage will be used for critical patients only, and it will start functioning within the next three weeks,” he said.