Amid the shortage of ICU beds due to the rise in coronavirus infections in Kashmir valley, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started construction of a 500-bed COVID-19 hospital in Budgam district to ramp up medical infrastructure.
For this joint initiative, the union territory administration handed over a land, which was already identified for a hospital, to the DRDO for construction of a temporary COVID-19 hospital.
This hospital will have 500 oxygen beds and is likely to be completed in about 35 days time, Ravinder Kumar, Additional Chief Engineer, DRDO said.
"There will be 125 fully-equipped ICU beds for Covid patients including a 50-double room accommodation facility for doctors and paramedics staff," he added.
The hospital will cover both Budgam and Srinagar and will become a lifeline for many COVID-19 patients who need ICU facilities.
Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir told ANI: "This government land had been allocated for a hospital but nothing had been made out of it. We are very glad that a hospital is being constructed in the most crucial hour. Neighboring districts can also benefit from this."
Locals appreciated this step of the government and said that the promise of a hospital will finally be fulfilled.Eijaz Ahmad, a local resident said, "Since 2001 the government has been saying that they will build a hospital but they have just let the land remain empty like this. We are very grateful to the government that a COVID-19 hospital is going to be constructed. We have also been told that an oxygen plant will be constructed soon."
The country is currently witnessing a devastating wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 3,82,315 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the country, taking the total active cases to 34,87,229.
There are 37,302 active cases in Jammu and Kashmir. A total of 1,52,109 recoveries and 2,458 deaths have been reported from the union territory so far. (ANI)