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Youth Centre Turns into Corona Care Centre, Run by Salesian Family

By Michael Makri
A Glimpse into the Corona Care Centre at DBYC Shillong managed by the Salesian Family Members.
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Shillong, Jul. 8. Don Bosco Youth Centre, the educational-recreational hub in Shillong, has turned into a Corona Care Centre for those infected by Covid-19. The Centre became functional on May 6, 2021, under the leadership of its director Father Michael Makri, and assisted by five lay collaborators and the members of the Salesian Family, the Salesian Sisters (FMA) and the MSMHC Sisters. The Centre provides essential services to the post-Covid-19 patients who have completed the Covid-19 treatment from different hospitals.
An inspection of the Centre by Miss Isawanda Laloo, the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills, Dr A. Lyngdoh, Additional Medical Health Officer, and Mrs Veronica Lyngdoh, Magistrate, approved 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 sanitisers to the Centre. In addition, the Health Department gave a day of training to the six nurses working in the Centre to ensure that they have adequate knowledge and skill to handle Covid-19 patients.

Securing entry and exit points
A trained nurse who also functions as a Data Entry Operator (DEO) registers every person entering/exiting the facility, including all medical and hospital requirements. Separate exit and entry points have been made within the Centre so that the patients will remain in complete isolation from the inmates of the Centre, and there would be a lesser chance for transmission of the disease.

All surfaces in the vicinity are thoroughly cleansed and disinfected with a fogging machine. The Shillong Municipal Board takes care of the disposal of PPE suits and other medical wastes.  

Infrastructure and functional requirements
A well-ventilated 40-beds-facility, each bed separated 1 - 2 meters apart in two separate dormitories, is set up. Admission is only for mild and symptomatic female patients screened and recommended by the concerned authorities. Also for female patients who do not have the facility to self-isolate at home are accommodated. The facility is medically equipped to handle Covid-19 cases, with a doctor and six 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 devices) and medicines like Paracetamol, Zinc Capsules and Vitamins is dispensed. 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 available for the health workers and front liners for donning and doffing of PPE suits.

Total Count up to June 30, 2021
It has been a month and a half since Don Bosco Youth Centre converted into a Corona Care Centre. So far, the Centre has treated 59 patients. Patients come from different parts of the State and places as far as Amlarem and Ranikor. The youngest and the only male patient was a five-month-old baby along with his mother. They were discharged from the Centre, healthy.

Funding and Expenditure
The relief team works day in and day out to gather funds both in-kind and cash for the Centre. The entire stay and treatment are free of charge. Many benefactors have extended their help by donating PPEs and Oximeters. Some friends and admirers of Don Bosco and the Salesian works have donated seven Oxygen Concentrators to the Centre. The Provincial Economer is all out collecting funds for the smooth running of the Centre. Besides him, the Director of BIDS also sends food articles regularly.



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