When the entire country is battling against the coronavirus, and people are struggling to find hospital beds, a dedicated COVID-19 hospital in Bihar, equipped with oxygen cylinders, remains shut.
The officials at the hospital claimed that they do not have any patient who requires treatment at the facility. The 60-bed hospital in Simri Bakhtiyarpur block of Saharsa district was opened in 2020 when the first wave of COVID-19 hit the country. Last year, the Bihar government declared it a dedicated COVID care centre.
This hospital in Saharsa which was operational just for a few weeks last year has been shut for several months.
"Most of the COVID patients do not want to get treated at hospitals and opt for home isolation. Till now, we have not found any patient who needs treatment at the hospital," Mahbub Alam, the health manager of the hospital, told India Today.
However, the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Simri Bakhtiyarpur Manoj Kumar did not agree to this statement. He said that the hospital became non-functional due to the unavailability of doctors.
"To run this hospital, there should be at least 10 doctors, but at present, there are only four. We usually refer the Covid positive cases to the district headquarters where there are more doctors and better resources available," said BDO Manoj Kumar.
The BDO directed the officials to open the hospital and check the state of healthcare facilities available.
There were altogether 60 beds with oxygen facility on the two floors of the hospital. Apart from adequate beds, there are several medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 lying unused in the doctor's chamber.