New Delhi: Apart from setting up of three special COVID hospitals, the Odisha government has also kept 500 MBBS students trained to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
"As many as 500 MBBS students have been given COVID-19 online training as approved by Government of India," said Odisha governments COVID spokesperson Subroto Bagchi on Friday.
This apart, the state government has also kept in reserve some paramedics students like nurses to deal with the impending crisis due to sudden spike in COVID-19 cases.
Fifteen persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha on Friday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 20, officials said.
The government has also issued a notification seeking qualified specialists, including retired professionals to be deployed at various state-run hospitals on short term contract basis for a period of three months from April 1.
Sources said the government has been preparing to engage about 8,000 doctors, staff nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, radiographers, health workers (male and female), keeping in view the future requirement in the worst case.
They said Odisha has a sanctioned strength of 10,425 MBBS doctors and dentists apart from 1285 Ayush doctors. At present 7,564 doctors and dentists are posted at various hospitals along with 794 Ayush doctors.
The state government has recruited 1,039 medical graduates.
Meanwhile, Odisha's third special COVID-19 was inaugurated in Rourkela on Friday. The first two were opened in Bhubaneswar in record time.
The third hospital, set up by Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital (HTMCH) in Rourkela, was inaugurated by Sundergarh Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan. The HTMCH is using it's existing building and has 200 beds and 10 ICU beds.
Doctors and other health officials of Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) and HTMCH will attend to the patients at the new COVID Hospital.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had inaugurated a 500-bed COVID-19 hospital at KIIMS in Bhubaneswar and a 125-bed at Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack.
Apart from the state government, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar has also set up an exclusive COVID unit with 206 beds in its campus in the capital city.
Moreover, the AYUSH complex of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar is also ready with 20 isolation beds and ten ventilators as part of measures to grapple with the emerging situation, he said.
Besides, the state government has been preparing around 500 beds with ICU facilities exclusively for COVID-19 patients in Ganjam district.
Arrangements have also been made for setting up of similar hospitals exclusively for Covid patients in different parts of the state including Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Dhenkanal, Puri and Paradip, sources said.