NCP chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar on Friday urged the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to increase Covid-19 testing capacity and take necessary steps to ensure private hospitals do not charge “exorbitant fees” to treat coronavirus patients.
“Steps should be taken as per the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Testing for Covid-19 should also be increased while the situation in containment zones should be reviewed on a regular basis,” Pawar said. He added, “Authorities should take steps to bring a check on private hospitals charging exorbitant amounts for treatment of Covid-19 patients.”
He was speaking at a weekly review meeting of containment measures in Pune district. Also in attendance were Guardian Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope, and district authorities.
Ajit Pawar said the administrative heads of various local bodies should apprise elected representatives about the pandemic situation in the city. “There should be an implementation of strict rules in containment zones. The PMC was spending a lot of funds to contain the pandemic and the state government will consider how to provide assistance to the civic body. Everyone needs to work in coordination…” he said.
Tope said the PMC should consider the Mumbai civic body’s initiative, in which it took possession of beds of private hospitals and appointed one civic officer to monitor the situation at each private hospital. “This will help in keeping track of availability of beds for Covid-19 patients and also the need for necessary medical equipment at hospitals. Action should be taken against private hospitals not following state government directions and charging more amount for treatment,” he said.
Deshmukh said there have been reports of residents moving freely in containment zones, so the PMC and the police need to strictly implement the rules.
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