After advising Covid-19 patients with no symptoms to stay home last month, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram has instructed private hospitals to send asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients, presently under treatment, back home through counselling.
Ram said the decision was in keeping with guidelines issued by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for treatment of asymptomatic patients, would improve bed availability at hospitals, and help alleviate fear of the disease among the public.
On June 15, the district administration asked asymptomatic patients, who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, to stay under home isolation instead of getting hospitalised. Such patients were required to sign an affidavit stating pledge to take care of themselves and others around them. The affidavit also stated that if they suffer from any serious health issues, they should immediately contact the government officer. This was based on the state government’s decision, dated June 6, giving detailed guidelines about treatment of asymptomatic patients.
Ram told The Indian Express that the instructions were issued as per guidelines earlier received from the Centre, state government, and ICMR, and not at his “own discretion”.
“We have asked the private hospitals to send Covid-19 patients, presently being treated there and have no or mild symptoms, home with counselling on self-isolation. If some of them refuse to go home for any reason, the hospital has been asked to convey names of such patients to the local municipal corporation,” Ram said.
He said the district administration had formed a hospital inspection squad to keep a tab on Covid-19 treatment at private hospitals in the district. “If we find asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients being treated at hospitals, we will take action,” he said.
He also said the move will reduce panic and fear among people as they would see that Covid-19 could be treated by staying at home as well. “This is not an extraordinary instruction. This is being done elsewhere too, including Mumbai. This will ensure that hospital beds remain available for symptomatic patients and people don’t lose money paying bills of private hospitals,” Ram said.
On Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar held a review meeting at Pune with senior administrative officials involved in containing the spread of Covid-19 in the district, which was also attended by BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.
At this meeting, Pawar directed the administration to ensure that each infected person needing treatment, gets it.
He said Pune should emulate Mumbai’s success in controlling the spread of the virus in densely populated areas. “Ensure immaculate planning of hospital beds, ambulances, and medical staff for hospitals with the help of digital technology,” Pawar said.
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