Words by Sanjay Jha, ITV News, Patna Bihar
A leading health minister in one of India's largest states has visited a struggling hospital after an ITV News report revealed the sub-standard conditions at the facility.
Footage shot by ITV News has revealed the poor infrastructure and conditions faced by patients at the Nalanda Medical College Hospital, one of the Bihar state's main coronavirus hospitals.
The local government had claimed to have a handle on the coronavirus outbreak in the region, but it now appears the footage has prompted a visit from health minister Mangal Pandey on Thursday.
Wearing full PPE on his visit, Mr Pandey checked the various different wards at the hospital in the state capital of Patna, and spoke to patients about their concerns.
Following his visit, hospital authorities have been asked to set up a help desk within three days to help better inform relatives and friends of loved ones of people who are in the wards.
He added a specialist team of doctors will be appointed to all main hospitals in the state to deal with the growing number of coronavirus cases.
Mr Pandey said: “The team will be posted in the wards for 24 hours. Four to six hours of continuous work will be done from a team. So that the team can work more well. CCTV cameras have been installed in both institutions for better surveillance. So that there is no best practice in treating patients."
A new rota will also be implemented and 650 oxygen cylinders will be made available to patients. Just 167 of the 447 beds are fitted with oxygen pipelines, but work will begin shortly to ensure all the beds are upgraded with pipelines.
Watch ITV News' report from inside the hospital on Wednesday
He also said that he would ensure that hospital serve patients at the Nalanda Medical College Hospital in a better way and ensure all complaints will be addressed as a priority.
Mr Pandey said that testing centres are being ramped up and over 25 new facilities would be set up in Patna.
Due to surge in Covid-19 cases, private hospitals have also been drafted in to help provide medical facilities to patients.