India – Don Bosco Youth Centre: a Community Corona Care Centre

07 July 2021

(ANS – Shillong) – The Educational-recreational centre turned into a Corona Care Centre for those who have been infected by Covid-19. The Don Bosco Youth Centre Community Corona Care Centre became functional on 06th May 2021 under the leadership of its director Fr. Michael Makri. He is supported and assisted by five lay collaborators – Mr Peter Mawlong, Dr Michael Mawlong, Mrs Samantha Syiem-Clarke, Ms Rachael R Khyriem, and Mr Teilang Khyriem.

The primary objective of the centre is to provide essential services to the post Covid-19 patients who completed their Covid-19 treatment from different hospitals. As many as 16 post Covid-19 patients were administered. After much deliberation, it was decided to widen the service by involving the members of the Salesian Family i.e., the Salesian Sisters (FMA) and the MSMHC Sisters in order to cater to those most affected by this pandemic, and thus it became the Salesian Family venture.  

After all arrangements were made and the place ready, on the 27th of May 2021, there was the inspection of the centre by Ms Isawanda Laloo, the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills, along with her team which included Dr A. Lyngdoh, Additional Medical Health Officer, Mrs Veronica Lyngdoh, Magistrate, after which they gave the approval to convert DBYC to a temporary Community Corona Care Centre. The District Administration assigned a doctor to look after the patients and provided PPE suits, Oxygen Cylinders and sanitizers to the Centre. In addition, the Health Department gave a full-day training to the 6 nurses working in the Centre to ensure that they have adequate knowledge and skill to handle Covid-19 patients.  

A trained nurse who also functions as a Data Entry Operator (DEO) is chosen to register every person entering/exiting the facility; which include all medical and hospital requirements. A separate exit and entry point has been made within the Centre so that the patients will remain in complete isolation from the Centre's guests and there would be lesser chance for transmission of the disease.

All surfaces in the vicinity are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a fogging machine. The Shillong Municipal Board takes care of the disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits and other medical wastes.  

The 40-beds facility is set up in two separate dormitories which are well ventilated. Each bed is separated 1 - 2 meters apart from each other. Only mild and symptomatic female patients who have been screened and recommended by the concerned authorities were admitted. Female patients who do not have space at their homes to self-isolate are also welcome to stay. The facility is medically equipped to handle Covid-19 cases along with a team of a doctor, 6 trained nurses of whom three are Salesian religious nuns. They monitor and provide treatment to the patients.

Medical requirements such as Oxygen cylinders, Oximeters, Sphygmomanometers (BP monitoring device) and basic medicines like Paracetamol, Zinc Capsules and Vitamins are provided. Each patient is provided three fresh and healthy meals at scheduled times. Tea and light snacks are made available 24 hours for both patients and staff. Separate rooms are provided for the health workers and front liners for donning and doffing of PPE suits.  

It has been a month and a half since Don Bosco Youth Centre has been converted into a Corona Care Centre. From that time onwards the Centre has been fully operational, intensely so. Every time a patient is discharged from the Centre a new patient arrives. These patients come from different parts of the State, places as far as Amlarem and Ranikor. Up to now the 30th of June many as 59 patients were discharged from the Centre. The youngest and only male patient was a five-month-old baby along with his mother. They were also discharged from the Centre strong and healthy.  

The Provincial Economer is also busy collecting funds for the smooth running of the Centre. Besides him, the Director of BIDS also sends food articles on a regular basis. The relief team works day in and day out to gather funds both in kind and in cash for the Centre. It is because of their hard work that not even a penny is being charged from the patients after their treatment. Many benefactors including Mr R.G. Lyngdoh and Dr Sylvanus Lamare have extended their help by donating PPEs and Oximeters. Some friends and admirers of Don Bosco and the Salesian works donated 7 Oxygen Concentrators to the centre.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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