The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) today inaugurated a Covid Level-II hospital, which can later be converted into a level-III or level-IV hospital if such a need arises.

The Tribeni Tourist Lodge at Tribeni near Teesta Bazaar in Kalimpong district, was converted into such a hospital in record time of around one month, while the state Department of Health and Family Welfare had on 5 June issued a notification stating that the facility there would be a SARI hospital (Level-II).

“There is some confusion about this Covid hospital, but I want to clarify officially that this is a Covid level-II hospital, which has the capacity to be converted into a level-III and level-IV hospital if the need and necessity arises,” GTA principal secretary, Surendra Gupta, said.

According to Mr Gupta, the 150-bed hospital will now function as a 100-bed one, with infrastructure and equipment being shared by the state government and the GTA. The human resources will, however, be shared by the Kalimpong and Darjeeling district administrations, he said.

According to the GTA Health and Family Welfare executive director, Samden Dukpa, suspected cases of Covid-19 with symptoms like fever, cough, cold and breathing problems will be admitted in the facility. The GTA said that patients suffering from Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) would be treated there, while throat swabs would also be collected.

Officials further said that dialysis facility will soon be provided there, while also installing a TrueNat Machine for Covid- 19 tests. The required staff and nurses have already been appointed there, along with medical officers, nursing officers and paramedics, a team of whom would work for seven days and go into seven days of quarantine, while the other team takes over.

Medical equipment available there include two Non- Invasive Ventilators, one ICU Ventilator, two Bipaps, one portable X-ray machine, and computerised radiography machine, among others, it is learnt.

“After migrant workers started returning home, we felt that there was a need for a Covid hospital in the GTA area. We requested the state government for one and they agreed to it. The Bengal CM (Mamata Banerjee) has in fact asked us to set up three such Covid hospitals in the GTA area,” GTA chairman Anit Thapa said.

“We have an infrastructure here that is ready to provide services as a Covid-4 hospital too if needed,” he added.