The 20-bed ICU at Karimganj Civil Hospital finally opened the doors on Tuesday after much anticipation, though the ceremonial opening was postponed. Although the much-needed ICU was sanctioned in 2020 during the first leg of the outbreak, Karimganj MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha stated that the government's lacklustre attitude caused it to remain non-operational for about two years. The accusation was denied by Krishnendu Paul, BJP MLA from Pathakandi, who said that the ICU was made operational in the wake of the recent rise in the number of COVID-19 patients and that the people of the district will have access to all facilities at the government hospital.
During the first COVID pandemic outbreak in 2020, then-Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma planned to establish a 20-bed ICU at Karimganj Civil Hospital. Despite the fact that the basic infrastructure for an ICU had been put in place, the unit remained unusable for over two years. Three technicians assigned to this ICU were transferred to Silchar Medical College in the end. However, according to Dr. Babul Bezbaruah, the principal of SMCH, these technicians were freed a few months ago.
Meanwhile, on a visit to Karimganj in late December, Anurag Goel, the state health ministry's senior secretary, directed the district health authority to establish the ICU by January 10. However, due to a lack of specific commodities, such as an Arterial Blood Gas Analyzer, which are required for such a setup, the ICU was unable to begin on the date set by the Principal Secretary.