Hyderabad: The Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (TIMS) that was set to start treating COVID-19 patients from 29 June is still recruiting staff members and has not yet admitted any patient.

This correspondent visited TIMS on 3 July and found that more than 1,000 candidates had turned up for interviews and verification of documents. "We had applied for the post in the second week of June. Two days ago we were notified of the interview and verification of documents on 3 July," said a candidate on the condition of anonymity.

On 27 June, state health minister Etala Rajendra had announced that 499 vacancies had been filled at TIMS. New recruits will join their duties from 29 June, he had said. It has been a week since the announcement and the hospital is yet to admit any patient. Members of a Central team who visited the hospital were satisfied by the measures taken by the government.

"TIMS recruitment nears completion, the hospital will be operational in 2-3 days," said K Ramesh Reddy during the press conference on Saturday.

TIMS will have 1,224 beds, of which 50 will have mechanical ventilators and 1,000 beds will have oxygen lines.

On Friday, the state reported 1,892 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike. Cases of hospitals not admitting patients are surfacing every day in the city. On 10 June, protesting juniors doctors of Gandhi Hospital had alleged that TIMS was not admitting COVID-19 patients or suspected cases. The same issue had been raised by the junior doctors of Osmania General Hospital who had boycotted COVID duties.

Sumit Jha

Sumit Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with NewsMeter. An alumnus of the University of Hyderabad and Amity University. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also a contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, consumer, health, human interest and data stories. You can follow Sumit on Twitter @sumitjha__

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