Amid a shortage of health facilities for treating novel coronavirus patients in Mizoram,two local churches in the Christian majority state have offered their halls to the state government to be used as COVID-19 Care Centres.
Ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) legislator and state health and family welfare board vice chairman Dr Z R Thiamsanga said, two Presbyterian churches in Aizawl and Electric Veng branch of the Young Mizo Association (YMA) have extended their help to the state government.
"The church leaders, community leaders and the people are open-hearted. They set a good example by helping the government," he said. Thiamsanga, who is also the chairman of the medical operational team on COVID-19, said that he inspected the halls along with other officials on Sunday.
"At least 14 COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing treatment at Venghnuai church hall," he said. Mizoram has only one dedicated COVID-19 hospital- Zoram Medical College (ZMC)- where symptomatic cases and those with co-morbidities are being treated while COVID-19 Care Centres(CCC) offer care to asymptomatic patients, he said.
The churches have been urged through Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC) to offer their halls as CCCs as the government is facing a shortage of facilities for treating COVID-19 patients, especially in Aizawl, Thiamsanga said. MKHC is a conglomerate of 15 major churches in the state.
"The government will face a big problem if the number of COVID-19 patients increases," the MLA said. A health official said that the government has set up six CCCs to treat 300 security personnel and has identified at least 33 buildings which may be converted into dedicated CCCs for keeping 1,500 patients.
"The government requires CCCs to accommodate at least 2,500 more patients," the official said. When the Mizoram government faced a shortage of quarantine facilities following the return of a large number of people to the state from various parts of the country, 194 churches had offered their halls, the official said.