2ND LEAD

Military was provided with exact coordinates of hospital - Mullai RDHS

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 January 2009, 13:33 GMT]
The Government hospital of Mullaiththeevu was shifted to Va'l'lipunam 'Peace' Village and the Sri Lankan government as well as the military authorities were provided the Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates through the ICRC, Dr. T. Varatharajah told TamilNet, when asked to describe the status of security measures taken by the local medical authorities in the hospital. Three days ago, the ICRC Deputy Director was present at the hospital premises to assure it, he said. The ICRC was present Wednesday at the hospital to confirm the security.

"It is shocking that artillery attack has been stepped up on the area announced as attack-free zone by the Sri Lankan military. The casualties today would have been much lower, had the promise been kept or there was no promise at all," Dr. Varatharajah said.

He said the first attack inside hospital premises was reported around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. After alerting through the ICRC, the attack ceased, but considerable damage were caused by the shells that had hit the medical installations. However, the hospital premises has come under attack again. One of the shells hit the hostel of the hospital. This has created panic among the medical staff whom the hospital is dependent upon, he said.

The hospital was receiving an average of 30 - 40 wounded civilians on a daily basis during the last 3 days, he said. An average of 16 dead bodies are being brought to the hospital on a daily average. There are 30 bodies at the hospital now.

Outpatients being treated at the hospital are around 1000 per day. There are 300 inpatients in the wards of the hospital, he said.

It was the only hospital capable of handling surgical maternity and was attending an average of 10 - 15 births on a daily basis.

The hospital was shifted with necessary permission from the government authorities, the RDHS said.


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