Slash rates of Delhi’s isolation beds by more than half, suggests Central panel
The committee was set-up by home minister Amit Shah on Sunday under the chairmanship of Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul to fix the rates of isolation beds, ICUs and testing kits in Delhi and to also assess if 60% of beds in private hospitals can be made available exclusively to Covid-19 patients at lower rates.Updated: Jun 19, 2020 15:55 IST
In a decision aimed at providing affordable medical treatment to Covid-19 infected patients in private hospitals in Delhi, a Committee set up by the Centre has recommended slashing the rates of beds in private hospitals by more than half - between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000, including the cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for isolation beds; and between Rs 13,000 to Rs 18,000 for Intensive Care Units (ICUs) beds with or without ventilator, the ministry of home affairs said on Friday.
MHA Spokesperson Nitin Wakankar said – “The committee has recommended Rs 8000-10000, 13000-15000 and 15000-18000 including PPE costs for isolation beds, ICUs without and with ventilator respectively to all hospitals as compared to the current charges of Rs 24000-25000, 34000-43000 and 44000-54000 (excluding PPE cost)”.
The high-powered committee was set-up by home minister Amit Shah on Sunday under the chairmanship of Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul to fix the rates of isolation beds, ICUs and testing kits in Delhi and to also assess if 60% of beds in private hospitals can be made available exclusively to Covid-19 patients at lower rates.
Earlier on Wednesday, the committee had recommended that rates for RT-PCR kits should be capped at Rs 2,400, a decision which has been accepted by the Delhi government and laboratories have already been informed in this regard.
Delhi’s infection tally stands at 49,979 and 1,969 people have died due to the coronavirus disease as of Friday.
The home ministry also said that, as discussed in the Sunday meeting, a door-to-door survey has already been completed in 242 containment zones in Delhi covering a total of 2.3 lakh people so far.
It added that testing through rapid antigen testing methodology, started on Thursday, 7,040 people have been tested as of now in 193 centres and that this number would go up in coming days. “Testing will continue with increased number in coming days,” said Wakankar.
The ministry further informed that the samples tested have been doubled in the capital in line with the directions given by Amit Shah in a series of meetings with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, all municipal corporations of Delhi and hospital authorities.
“Sample testing has been doubled immediately in pursuance of decisions taken by HM Amit Shah in a series of meetings. A total of testing samples of 27,263 have been collected in Delhi from June 15 to 17 against the daily collection which varied between 4,000 and 4,500 earlier,” the spokesperson said.
Shah had asked the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments to work together for the welfare of people of the national capital region rather than working in silos.
A senior MHA official, who didn’t want to be named, said that the home minister is closely monitoring the situation in Delhi and may call more review meetings in coming days if he sees the situation going out of hand. “For now, things start to look like they are getting back on track (in terms of testing),” said this officer.