Jamia Millia Islamia braces for third wave, to set up 50-bed Covid care centre for staff, children

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: Jamia Millia Islamia will set up a 50-bed Covid care centre for its staff and their children as part of preparations for a possible third wave of the pandemic, its Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar said on Wednesday.

She said the university will rope in a government agency to prepare a proposal for setting up the Covid care centre at its Ansari Health Centre.

The proposal will be submitted to the government to seek funding for the centre.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the university’s Executive Council.

“The Covid care centre will be set up at the Ansari Health Centre in the university. We do not have any funding for the Covid centre and will be running it with our own resources. We will arrange for beds and make do with the existing doctors.

“It will not be a hospital and will be for those who need to be quarantined and have initial symptoms. Those who have mild symptoms will be given medicines and if required, they will be given oxygen too,” Akhtar told PTI.

If a patient’s condition deteriorates, the Covid centre will suggest shifting them to a hospital.

The work for setting up the centre will begin from Thursday, she said.

Akhtar said the centre will be for Jamia’s staff and their children, basically those whose names are there in the university’s medical booklet.

“At the moment, we don’t have the resources to cater to outsiders. Recently, one of our professors was unwell and there were no beds available in Delhi.

His wife drove around Delhi with him in a car but could not find any beds.

Later, he was admitted to a hospital in Faridabad,” she said.

The VC said she wanted to set up a Jamia Millia Islamia medical college and hospital since the time she joined the university.

“Let the small hospital (Covid centre) be the precursor to the medical college. Even my predecessors wanted it. We will rope in a government agency to prepare the document that we can submit to the government for getting the funding (for the Covid centre).

We want to have EdCIL on board if they have the time,” she said.

The Executive Council also approved a proposal for inviting experts to set up their clinics at the Ansari Health Centre.

“Well-known experts can set up their clinics at the health centre and treat patients from the university and even from outside. There is fear among patients regarding visiting hospitals. We will keep a portion of the earnings of the doctors who will visit here,” Akhtar said.

Akhtar, who is the first woman VC of Jamia Millia Islamia, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2019.

In a statement issued then, she had said that the PM had assured her of all assistance in setting up a medical college-cum-hospital during her tenure.

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