Guwahati, Jun 18: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday visited the COVID hospital set up by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati. The hospital, set up in collaboration with the Assam government, has come 316 beds, Singh said.
"This hospital will help the state of Assam in its fight against the pandemic," he added. The Union minister was accompanied by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and state Health Minister Keshab Mahanta.
Sarma told reporters that the Defence Minister inspected the hospital and assured him that the facility will be made available to the state government as a flood shelter too, if required.
The hospital, which was inaugurated on June 10, will become functional from June 20, he said. As the rate of positivity and even the number of cases have declined in the State, it has been decided to allow treatment of non-COVID patients at three COVID hospitals in Guwahati, the chief minister said.
The government was also considering allowing Gauhati Medical College and Hospital to treat non-COVID patients, while only DRDO and Kalapahar COVID Care will function as COVID hospitals, Sarma said.
Earlier, Singh visited the famed Kamakhya Temple atop the Nilachal Hills and offered his prayers. The temple is currently closed due to the COVID restrictions and Singh offered his prayers from outside the main door that leads to the sanctum sanctorum. Singh also circumambulated the temple and offered his obeisance to the goddess.
The minister arrived here on Thursday evening after dedicating 12 strategic roads, constructed by the Border Roads Organisation, at Kimin in Arunachal Pradesh.
He spent the night at Raj Bhavan where Governor Jagadish Mukhi hosted a dinner in his honour, which was also attended by Sarma, former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary. Singh left for New Delhi after the visit to the COVID hospital.