Kalaburagi, May 12 : With the Karnataka government looking for new places to set up makeshift Covid care facilities, Mines and Geology minister Murugesh Nirani on Wednesday directed the authorities to refurbish an abandoned old hospital building of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
Nirani’s directions came after his meeting with Kalaburagi district officers, in which they brought to his notice that the ESI hospital in Laxmiganj area of Shahabad was lying idle and can be easily converted into a 30-room Covid care centre.
Nirani, who is also the Kalaburagi district minister, told reporters that the ESI hospital at Shahabad was constructed in the 1994 to cater to the medical needs of over 7,500 labourers working in various cement factories and other industries.
He said that he has ordered officials to provide all medical facilities to treat Covid-19 patients including oxygenated beds, ventilators, pantry, drinking water and toilets.
The minister said that this Covid care centre will have all modern facilities to provide better treatment.
The hospital was constructed on a four-acre plot but most of the factories and industries moved out of Shahabad.
The building has since been lying unused and has turned into a dump yard with the premises filled with weeds, dry grass, plants, dust and other waste.
Following the instructions from Nirani, Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner V.V.Jyotsna directed senior officials including Shahabad Tehsildar Suresh Varma, Municipal Corporation Commissioner K.Gurulingappa and officials from the health and revenue departments to inspect the site.
According to a statement released by Nirani’s office, work to refurbish the 30-room hospital in Shahabad had begun.
“Walls, floor and ceiling of the building which are in deplorable condition are being renovated with proper electricity and water supply connections,” the statement said.
Kalaburagi shares borders with Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.Karnataka’s first Covid death was reported on March 10 last year from this district.Since then this district has registered over 52,444 positive cases which include 36,702 recoveries and 15,175 active cases.567 people had succumbed till Monday night to the virus.