After the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order that gave certain relaxation in COVID-19 lockdown, the Union Health Ministry has restarted the erection work of four new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, Guwahati in Assam, Bhatinda in Punjab, and Mangalagiri in Andhra Pradesh.
The work has been resumed at the sites with the available labour. Before resuming construction, The Union Health Ministry has thoroughly discussed the protocol with the executing agencies and local administration for ensuring the social distancing norms among the workers are strictly followed.
A senior government official stated, “The construction work on the sites of 4 new AIIMS’s were undergoing before the COVID-19 lockdown. However, when the lockdown was announced, the work was stopped. About 1,000 workers are residing at each of the respective hospital construction sites.”
“It has been about 15 days that we’ve resumed the development work of those hospitals by an equivalent workforce. We have instructed them to follow social distancing measures and other precautionary measures against COVID-19 as per government guidelines. No additional workers would be called from outside,” said the official.
“These hospitals would have a minimum of 750 beds in total bed capacity. It was supposed to be completed by December this year. However, the deadline will be extended for few more months due to limited manpower,” added the official.
The official informed, “Efforts were also made to resume construction work on AIIMS Gorakhpur, however, it didn’t start thanks to less labour.”
On April 15, the MHA stated in its order that the States and Union Territories (UTs)/district administrations can operationalise certain activities observing the existing guidelines on lockdown measures.
The states and UTs shall ensure that all preliminary arrangements and other sectoral requirements heeding to social distancing in offices, workplaces, factories, and establishments are in place before operating these relaxations.