All Hands On Deck: Three Big Private Hospitals Join Coronavirus Fight In Delhi

NEW DELHI: The city’s fight against Covid-19 got a shot in the arm on Thursday with three top private hospitals — Indraprastha Apollo, Max and BLK — announcing isolation and treatment facility for people suffering from the disease.

Till date, only public hospitals like Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML), Lok Nayak, Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty, Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB), Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital had this facility. Fortis group is also likely to announce the creation of isolation facility on Friday, sources said.

While Apollo hospital has reserved 50 beds for Covid-19 patients, Max group has reserved 20 beds each at its Saket and Patparganj centres and BLK 10 beds for isolation and treatment. All three hospital groups said they were prepared to scale up the infrastructure significantly, depending on the need, on a short notice.

Apollo has also received licence for Covid-19 testing. Sangita Reddy, joint managing director of the group, said most centres have been cleared for testing.

“Full-scale testing is likely to start by the end of March. We will have the provision for home collection of samples as well as drive-through testing. In-hospital testing will be discouraged, except for in-patients. Dedicated fever clinics are being set up to screen people. People who qualify under the criteria for tests will enter via the drive-through, make payment as per government recommendations and then be tested,” Reddy said.

Reddy added more than 50% Covid-19 positive cases need only isolation and symptomatic management. “Isolation is not possible in many Indian homes where 6-7 people share common accommodation and toilet. Soon, we will be launching “Project Stay I” to create medical rooms in hotels/hostels with light medical supervision for quarantine and creating a barrier before people come into the hospitals,” she said.

The medical rooms will be rolled out in Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Delhi, starting with approximately 50 in each city. They will go up by 50 rooms every three days, to reach an eventual target of 5,000 across the country, said Reddy.

Preetha Reddy, vice-chairperson of Apollo, said preparations are on for the next stage of community transmission of the virus. “There will be over 250 beds, which can be enhanced to 500 beds, to treat the critically ill. We expect to give advanced care to over 2,000 patients a month.”

Max Healthcare will begin admission of Covid-19 patients from Friday. The treatment will be available in specially designated isolation wards — east block of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket and Patparganj, said Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, group medical director, Max Healthcare. Max Labs will also begin testing for Covid-19 from samples collected from four units across Delhi-NCR, he added.

“We will keep adding bed/wards in case there is a surge in the number of patients,” Dr Sanjay Mehta, unit head and vice-president of BLK said.

Delhi has reported 39 cases of Covid-19 as on Thursday. Of this, state authorities said, 31 are admitted in various hospitals. “The total number of patients admitted till date is 156. Some of them were allowed to go home once the tests results came negative. Five people found positive have fully recovered,” said an official.-Times Of India

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