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Ghaziabad asks private hospitals to create Covid-19 wards at their facilities

By Peeyush Khandelwal, Ghaziabad
PUBLISHED ON MAY 30, 2020 11:06 PM IST

In order to provide better facilities to Covid-19 patients, the Ghaziabad administration on Saturday asked private hospitals in the district to start a separate wing for such cases in their respective facilities. District officials also asked the private hospitals to come together and dedicate at least one hospital for Covid care.

With increasing cases, the district is preparing more Covid-19 beds. Although the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Disaster Management Act are in place due to the pandemic and the government can take over private facilities, the district administration preferred not to do so, the officials said.

The district administration has already acquired a private hospital to serve as a tertiary care facility for serious cases.

“We met with the management of private hospitals on improving the district’s Covid care capacity. The idea is that no patient admitted to a private hospital should be discharged if he/she tests positive for Covid-19,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.

“In several cases, private hospitals refer Covid-19 patients to government hospitals. But it should not be the case now. For this, hospitals have been asked to declare their hospitals as Covid facilities. They can even pool resources and declare one hospital as a Covid facility. They can also keep a separate ward for such patients. We can make available personal protection equipment (PPE) at half of the price.”

According to health department officials, such arrangement has been made as some patients prefer to be treated at private hospitals. There have been instances where patients have complained of lack of facilities at government hospitals and even raised the issue on social media.

“Such private hospitals will not be acquired. Once this comes up, the guidelines will be received from the state officials and patients can take up treatment at their own cost. We are awaiting response from the hospitals, after which a list will be sent to the state officials,” said Dr NK Gupta, chief medical officer (CMO).

“It will also be helpful for the health department. With this, patients will not be sent to outstation hospitals from where they can acquire another infection. We have already acquired a private hospital which is now notified as L-3 (tertiary) Covid facility with 400 beds. We are now trying to prepare 4,000 beds under government Covid care facility. About 2,000 beds have already come up while the proposal for another 2,000 is being sent to the government. The beds are being increased as we expect a surge in Covid-19 cases in the next month.”

For the remaining 2,000 Covid beds, the Ghaziabad administration has acquired seven different colleges where the beds will be in form of L1 attached facilities meant for asymptomatic patients.

The UP government has already come up with three-layered dedicated Covid-19 hospitals across the state. The Ghaziabad district at present has 166 L1 category beds, 100 L2 category beds and another 400 beds under L3 category meant for critical care.

Meanwhile, UP government officials said that 9,091 samples were collected and sent for testing at different laboratories in the state.

“We have about 12 automatic RNA extractors which are getting installed at different laboratories in the state. This will help us improve our testing capability. We have 20 two-slot tru-net machines which have been made available and another set of 55 will come in the next three-four days. One machine, which can give test results in little over one hour, will be given to each district,” said Amit Mohan Prasad, UP’s principal secretary (health).

“The initial test will give us indication whether a person is positive or negative. Earlier, the second test was to be conducted by using RT-PCR method. Now, the Indian Council of Medical Research has changed protocol and second confirmatory test can be done with the same machine.These machines will help us in cases where patient is in medical emergency,” Prasad added.

The machine will also help districts like Ghaziabad which are dependent on other cities like GB Nagar, Meerut or Delhi for testing of samples.

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