Sri Padmavathi Nilayam withdraws COVID service

The pilgrim centre had accommodated 14,389 patients since pandemic broke out

January 30, 2021 01:15 am | Updated 08:48 am IST - TIRUPATI

TUDA Chairman and government whip Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy felicitating SVIMS virology lab head Usha Kalawat in Tirupati on Friday.

TUDA Chairman and government whip Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy felicitating SVIMS virology lab head Usha Kalawat in Tirupati on Friday.

Sri Padmavathi Nilayam, which was turned into a COVID Care Centre to house patients when cases were surging and many hospitals were getting overwhelmed, has withdrawn from offering the services, announced Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) officially on Friday.

The massive building complex abutting the Chennai highway, built by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) to accommodate pilgrims, was later handed over to A.P. Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) for better management, but was finally taken over by TUDA when COVID struck.

With 934 beds, the centre admitted 14,389 patients--13,988 of them from Chittoor district alone-- referred home isolation to 2,537 and performed lab investigations on 36,752 persons during the period. Apart from TUDA, SETVEN and the District Sports Authority, departments like Medical and Health, Cooperatives, Revenue, Education, Tourism and Panchayat Raj chipped in to ensure round-the-clock services to the patients.

Making the announcement, TUDA Chairman Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy recalled the “darker initial days” of March, when doctors ran from pillar to post for ventilators, administrators scrambling to procure huge quantity of masks and sanitisers.

Health staff felicitated

“It was all chaos when the pandemic struck, but our priority was to fill confidence in the patients,” said Dr. Reddy, who had donned the PPE suit to visit the critically-ill persons in the State COVID Hospital at SVIMS. He lauded the role of TTD in extending finance for infrastructure and the policemen for maintaining the guard during the lockdown.

Along with TUDA Vice-Chairman S. Harikrishna and Secretary S. Lakshmi, he felicitated front line warriors such as doctors, paramedical staff, health workers, government staff and media personnel for rendering yeoman services during the pandemic.

SVIMS Director B. Vengamma, Medical Superintendent Ram, Venkatrami Reddy (surgical gastroenterology), Alok Sachan (endocrinology), Alladi Mohan (medicine), Usha Kalawat (virology lab), SVMC Principal Jaya Bhaskar, Ruia Superintendent M. Bharathi, Chittoor DM&HO S. Penchalaiah and DCHS P. Saralamma were among those honoured.

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