Written by Kamal Saiyed | Surat | Published: June 13, 2020 10:32:46 am
Surat has the second highest number of cases in Gujarat at 36,122 with 94 deaths reported so far, and is among the hotspots in the country.
With the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the city, the Surat Municipal Corporation plans to convert the International Convention-cum-Exhibition Centre of the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) at Sarsana, into an 875-bed Covid-19 hospital.
The SMC is considering to acquire the centre for around six months, to build more capacity to handle the rising number of cases. Surat has the second highest number of cases in Gujarat at 36,122 with 94 deaths reported so far, and is among the hotspots in the country. There are 693 active cases in the district.
Surat Municipal Commissioner B N Pani said, “We have kept the Sarsana hall of SGCCI into consideration, to cater to the future needs of Covid-19 patients. The number of patients are rising day by day and oxygen supply lines are used for treating maximum number of patients. The Sarsana hall is the best place where an entire set up can be made (to treat patients). We have told our officials to work out on the plan with possibilities. We are also looking for the medical staff to be deployed at the centre.”
The hall, which is a pillarless centrally air-conditioned space spread over an area of 1.15 lakh square feet under a dome, hosts almost a dozen events around the year including exhibitions, Navratri garba, marriages, events of private corporate companies, parties, educational, cultural and religious events.
For exhibitions, SGCCI charges Rs 10 lakh per day, around Rs 6 lakh for marriages, while platinum hall is given on rent for Rs. 1.50 lakh for a day. The Mega Build Expo 2020, an exhibition of building material, was the last event held in the exhibition centre from February 28 to March 2.
Municipal Commissioner B N Pani, District Collector Dhaval Patel, along with SGCCI president Ketan Desai visited the exhibition hall and held a meeting on Thursday evening to examine the feasibility of converting it into a hospital and future preparedness for the Covid-19 spread.
The dome-structured hall is spread over 10,000 square meter area while platinum hall has an area of 2,100 square meter and association building comprises ground floor and six more floors covering 2,000 square meter area.
SGCCI president Desai said, “The district administration and municipal officials had contacted us to give possession of the hall. We are hoping that they will acquire the hall for six months and later as per the situation they may continue or return it. We will carry out meeting with the SMC officials and district collector to discuss who will bear the expenses of maintenance of the hall, including power supply.”
Former president of the SGCCI B S Agrawal said, “We are happy to give our premises for the humanitarian cause to save lives of people suffering from Covid-19.”
Surat city has a total of 1,995 beds for treating Covid-19 patients. The New Civil Hospital has 730-bed capacity with oxygen supply lines, while the SMC-run SMIMER hospital has 840 beds, and seven private hospitals have a total of 525 beds. Till Friday, the New Civil Hospital had 443 positive patients, out of which eight are on ventilator support, 34 patients on BiPAP, and 186 patients on oxygen support. At an average of 60 to 70 positive cases are reported at NCH every day.
Sources said that a primary report has been made wherein a huge set up of 826 beds with oxygen supply lines and an ICU centre will be set up at the dome-structured hall, platinum hall and association building.
Sources in the SMC said that the centralized oxygen supply network will be made with ICU facility in the dome structure hall. Facilities of BiPAP, ventilators will also be made ready. A structure using partitions will be erected in the dome structure for patients as well as medical staff. The patients will be classified in two segments of “moderate” and “critical”.
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