The COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, forcing us all into a state of lockdown. In India, we entered our first full lockdown in March 2020.
A series of measures were taken by both the Central and State Governments to break the chain of transmission. One of these measures is to isolate all suspect and confirmed cases of COVID-19. Available data in India suggests that many cases affected with COVID-19 exhibit mild or very mild symptoms. Such cases may not require admission to COVID-19 blocks or dedicated COVID-19 hospitals but need COVID Care Centres in the vicinity.
As per the 2019 National Health Profile, there are around 0.55 government beds for every 1000 individuals, demonstrating a significant gap in the country’s capacity to address the virus. In the slums of our cities, about 10-12 people live in a 250 square feet house, with no ability to social distance when a person demonstrates COVID-like symptoms.
The idea of Habitat COVID Care Centres was born in the wake of this realisation - an initiative to boost existing medical infrastructure and support vulnerable individuals with safe spaces to isolate or quarantine, keeping families safe and preventing transmission.
Facilities contains metal semi-fowler or corrugated cardboard beds, attached with medical IV stands and other standard medical infrastructure. Fully furnished facilities are handed over to the district administration who will populate it with the adequate medical staff and run the day to day operations of the Care Centre.
Till date, Habitat India has set up 12 COVID-19 Care Centres in Mumbai (Maharashtra), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), New Delhi and Bengaluru (Karnataka) with a capacity of 1375 beds.