Pritha Roy Choudhury|May 22, 2021
IIT Gandhinagar issues white paper on creating campus COVID-19 centres
Coronavirus: IIT Gandhinagar releases whitepaper on setting up COVID-19 facilities in educational institutions.
NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar, Gujarat, set up a COVID-19 facility on campus in April 2021. Now, to help others set up similar facilities, it has collated all that the IIT's administration learnt into a white paper, a statement from the institute said.
The IIT Gandhinagar facility was set up on campus to tackle the surge in the number of cases not only in the campus but also in the local community.
The whitepaper has been released to encourage other institutes to come up with similar initiatives and reduce the burden on healthcare facilities across the country. Several IITs, including IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee, havs set up quarantine or isolation centres on campus for students and staff. Last year, IIT Bombay had COVID-19 quarantine facility on campus as well.
Learning from challenges
Explaining that the whole process was a learning experience as there were no guiding document or a standard operating procedure available, Sudhir Jain, director, IIT Gandhinagar, said: “We did not have the benefit of a guiding document or a standard operating procedure that we could follow at the start. We evolved with every challenge and learnt lessons during the process.”
The institute converted its newly-built guest house to a COVID care facility that served for providing relief to hundreds of infected members of the community. Last year, over 600 educational institutions had offered their spaces to be used as COVID-19 centres, including schools.
The initiative the institute said, has also contributed in a small way to “relieving the added burdens the Covid positive patients would have otherwise imposed on Ahmedabad’s and Gandhinagar’s health infrastructure.”
At its peak during April 2021, the institute had a total of 248 active COVID-19 cases, of which 162 were from the campus and the remaining were off-campus students, staff, outsourced workers, and their families.
All but one patient had been released from the facility as on May 18.
COVID-care centre in schools
The Union ministry of health and family welfare on May 17 has asked for the creation of 30-bed COVID-care centres in schools, educational institutes, housing societies, community halls and panchayat buildings.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented global health crisis that demands unconventional and urgent action to support and care for each other”, added Jain.
IITGN’s Covid Care Facility provided hard-to-access health services, such as oxygen contractors, respirators, and basic health services, up to the point that the patient required hospitalization.
Keeping up with the health ministry’s requirement, the statement from the institute said that the facility is important for isolating the COVID-positive patient from his family, roommates and neighbours who could be infected, reducing the spread of the virus.
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