Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal issued a warning to a few private hospitals for “lying” about the number of beds available and refusing treatment to coronavirus patients. In a stern warning to the medical facilities, he said that no hospital can deny treatment to patients. While addressing a virtual press briefing on Saturday, Kejriwal said, “You will not be spared. You will have to take coronavirus patient who is coming to the hospital for the treatment. Denying treatment to any patient is non-negotiable.”
Delhi has recorded 1,330 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the Covid-19 tally in the city beyond the 26,000-mark, and the number of deaths due to the disease jumped to 708.
Blaming some hospitals for “black marketing” of beds, he said they were asking for a huge sum of money from patients for reserving beds for treatment of Covid-19. The Delhi government has asked private hospitals in the city with a bed capacity of 50 or more beds to reserve 20 per cent of their total capacity for the Covid-19 patients.
“I am not saying all private hospitals are bad. Private hospitals in the city have played an important role in our battle against the coronavirus. But there are some hospitals which are asking for money from the patients to provide them a bed. This is called black marketing of beds and we will not allow it. On Friday, we met the owners of 33 private hospitals and the meeting with others will continue today. If you have an issue in reserving 20 per cent beds then you can convert into a full Covid hospital,” he said.
Meanwhile, last week, the government launched a mobile application that gives real-time information about the availability of beds and ventilators in each hospital, but there have been reports of the application not displaying correct information. Responding to this, Kejriwal said a medical professional from the Delhi government will be placed in each private hospital. “The false refusal will have to stop. The hospitals cannot deny treatment to even a suspected Covid-19 patient. We are working on it, give us some time and we will sort these issues,” Kejriwal said.
The CM also requested asymptomatic patients to not get themselves tested for Covid-19.
“The priority is to save the lives of serious patients. Those with mild symptoms or are asymptomatic can be recovered. If all asymptomatic patients will start going to the labs for tests, then the system will get collapsed. Asymptomatic people should not insist for getting tested. If they are going to get tested then the serious patients will suffer,” he said, adding that Delhi is still on the top in terms of conducting tests for Covid-19.
Recently, the government issued notices to six private labs for flouting the ICMR guidelines of testing. “There are 42 labs in the city and only six of them have been issued notices for not following the guidelines. The testing is still going on, 5300 samples have been tested today. The other 36 labs are still working,” he said.
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