The crisis of hospital facilities in Lucknow will ease to an extent on Wednesday when the 500-bed makeshift Covid hospital set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Awadh Shilpgram on Shaheed Path becomes operational.The hospital will start functioning almost a fortnight after DRDO stepped in to set up the facility at the instance of Lucknow MP and defence minister Rajnath Singh.With the addition of 500 beds, the city will now have 7,000 beds for Covid patients, though most of them are occupied.DRDO director Narendra Kumar Arya said, "The makeshift hospital at Awadh Shilpgram in Lucknow will be operational from Wednesday noon. The hospital has the capacity of 500 beds, including 150 ICU and 350 general beds which are also equipped with oxygen."He said that the patients will be admitted through the Integrated Covid Command Centre (ICCC)."We have given the DRDO hospital a login and a password for the ICCC portal where they will upload the status of bed availability. People will be able to view bed occupancy but admission requests will be centrally controlled," said Lucknow's Covid in charge, Roshan Jacob.
District magistrate Abhishek Prakash visited the facility on Tuesday and said the hospital would have unlimited 24-hour oxygen supply. He said there would be a separate electricity feeder for the hospital and special sanitization and cleanliness facilities would be provided to the hospital.The DRDO has already set up similar hospitals in Delhi and Ahmedabad in April this year.While DRDO will not formally inaugurate the facility given the crisis situation, sources said chief minister Yogi Adityanath will visit the facility on Wednesday."Patients will not be charged for treatment at the hospital. Arrangements for the stay of patients' relatives will also be made in the premises. Medicines and food will be free," said the DRDO director.While the hospital has been set up with the expertise and supervision of DRDO, the medical aspect of the facility will be taken care of by the doctors, nurses and support staff of the Armed Forces Medical Services.It has an oxygen plant on base and central air-conditioning as per WHO protocols of air circulation for Covid patients.