With the number of Covid-19 cases declining in Pune, the administration has asked private hospitals to work out their own ‘step down’ programme so that beds can be freed up for non-Covid patients.
So far, a total of 1,800 non-oxygenated beds that had been used for Covid-19 patients across private hospitals have been released, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said on Tuesday. Large hospitals like Ruby Hall Clinic and Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, which had allocated 390 and 450 beds for Covid-19 patients, respectively, been asked to work out their own ‘step down’ programme so that they can free up the beds.
“However, in the event of a spike in Covid-19 cases, we have arrived at an understanding that at any given point of time, the administration can direct them to increase the bed strength, especially ICU and ventilated beds,” said Rao.
A district health official said the administration wants to avoid a situation where there is a shortage of beds during another spike in cases.
Hospitals with less than 40 beds need no longer engage in Covid care while super-specialty hospitals like orthopaedic or eye hospitals can also de-reserve the beds meant for Covid-19 patients, said Rao. At the government-run facilities, including the jumbo centres, there are adequate beds to take care of Covid-19 patients.
Of the 23 Covid Care Centres in Pune, 18 have been shut down. Medical staff who had been hired at jumbo facilities and government hospitals like Sassoon General Hospital will be retained. “However, we are in talks with the agency that has been involved in recruiting the contractual staff so that wasteful expenditure can be avoided,” said Rao.
He added that anticipating a second wave of infections, the Covid task force experts have come out with a strategic paper that has planned a series of measures to tackle it.
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