Bhubaneswar: B N Shukla, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, who has been involved in measures to fight COVID-19 in Odisha and also was infected with the virus and hospitalised during this period, has shared his experience on how the timely actions with proper planning by the government have strengthened a system to ensure better recoveries.
Shukla informed that he had left for New Delhi from Sambalpur about two weeks ago to attend a meeting with a Rajyasabha committee and had to stay there for a couple of days. He had taken all possible precautions and followed all Covid-19 norms and also isolated himself and worked from home after his return.
However, all his efforts to stay away from the virus failed as he observed mild symptoms of infection. He took the test and was diagnosed positive on October 16. On the advice of doctor, he was admitted to a dedicated Covid-19 Hospital set-up by the Odisha government at Bhubaneswar. He returned back home, hearty and healthy on October 26.
“Having stayed in the hospital for a week and closely watched the practices, my heart is full of gratitude for the doctors, nurses and other para-medical staff. They were more than a family in taking care of their patients and their approach was so positive and encouraging. Whether it was daily medical checkups or other routines, the doctors, nurses and the assistants always kept patients motivated and hopeful,” stated Shukla.
“On the other side, hats-off to the visionary approach of the Government of India and perspicacious planning and its execution on ground by the Odisha administration, which have resulted in containing the pandemic in the state to a great extent,” he added.
Shukla asserted that Odisha government was fast enough to build a backbone structure in the state to fight against COVID-19, complementing the central initiatives to curb the menace. Getting all stakeholders, including the public sector and private sector, involved efficiently has started yielding results with Odisha being one of the states having the lowest mortality rate and highest recovery rate of Covid-19 patients.
“Being a partner of Odisha government in this long drawn battle with the virus is indeed an honour for Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a CPSU under Ministry of Coal,” he added.
MCL has joined hands with state government and a private healthcare service provider to set-up two dedicated Covid-19 Hospitals (of level-3), one each in Talcher (150 bed) and Bhubaneswar (525 beds), with a total 31 beds in intensive care units (ICU). Besides, 50 bedded Covid Care Centre (CCC-Level-2) has been set-up in Jharsuguda district while a 20 bedded CCC in Sundergarh, 15 bedded in Angul and 50 bedded in Sambalpur districts.
More than 8,200 Covid-19 patients had been treated free-of-cost and discharged from these two dedicated Covid hospitals till September 30, 2020. Involved in several activities to check the menace of virus, MCL has spent Rs 53.88 crore for different COVID mitigation measures till September 30, 2020.
“My association in these efforts of the state government to fight COVID-19 and my own experience of being a COVID-19 patient treated in one such facility have strengthened my belief that concerted efforts of the administration coupled with public-private partnership and support of the people, will surely defeat the pandemic,” stated Shukla.