Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation plans to convert the now closed Baner dedicated Covid facility into a general hospital that will be run by a private operator.
Civic officials said a tendering process will soon be started for the 200-bed facility, which was shut down a couple of months ago, following a drop in Covid cases.
“Quality infrastructure is ready and we want to use it for public good. Private hospitals will be told to come forward to run the Baner facility,” said Ravindra Binawade, additional commissioner of the PMC.
The Covid hospital was set up amid fears of a third wave. Built at a cost of Rs 12 crore, the six-storey building has a capacity of 209 beds, including 62 ICU beds. The project was launched using CSR funding. Its ground floor has the administration section, observation centre, control room and pharmacy. Its first and second floors have 31 ICU units each and the third, four and fifth floors have 49 oxygen beds each.
The facility’s two oxygen generation plants can supply 1,050 litres per minute and its storage tank can hold 13kg of liquid medical oxygen.
Dr Sanjeev Wavare, the PMC’s assistant medical officer, said since Covid caseload has dropped, infrastructure can now be diverted to help general patients. “The private agency will shoulder the responsibility of providing manpower for the hospital. Treatments will be available for citizens at government rates. The new hospital is expected to start in three months,” Dr Wavare said.
As per health data, average Covid-19 hospitalisation in the Pune Metropolitan region (PMR) has been below 100 for the last fortnight. The number of patients admitted in PMC hospitals is even lower, officials said.