A coronavirus test report is no longer needed to get hospitalised, the government has said in its revised guidelines that make sure that those suffering from Covid get “prompt, effective and comprehensive treatment”. The new measures – that come as a huge relief amid an exponential surge in cases – also stress that “no patient will be refused on any count”.
“In a significant directive to the states, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised the national policy for admission of Covid patients to various categories of facilities,” an official statement said this afternoon. Hospitals can also no longer refuse patients from another city.
The government directive has been sent to all states and union territories and it shall be followed by hospitals under the central or state governments or private hospitals treating Covid patients.
Key points that the centre has stressed as part of new measures are:
- “Requirement of a positive test for COVID-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a Covid health facility. A suspect case shall be admitted to the suspect ward of CCC (Covid Care Center), DCHC (Dedicated Covid Health Centers) or DHC (Dedicated Covid Hospitals) as the case may be.”
- “No patient will be refused services on any count. This includes medications such as oxygen or essential drugs even if the patient belongs to a different city.”
- “No patient shall be refused admission on the ground that he/she is not able to produce a valid identity card that does not belong to the city where the hospital is located.”
- “Admissions to hospital must be based on need. It should be ensured that beds are not occupied by persons who do not need hospitalization. Further, the discharge should be strictly in accordance with the revised discharge policy.”
The new guidelines say that patients suffering from mild symptoms shall be admitted to Covid Care Centers (CCC) that have been set up in hostels, hotels, schools, stadiums, lodges. Functional hospitals – treating non-Covid cases – will be designated as CCCs as “the last resort”, the Health Ministry has said.
While the Dedicated COVID Health Centres (DCHCs) – that have beds with assured oxygen support – shall attend to mild cases, the Dedicated COVID Hospitals (DCHs) shall offer comprehensive care primarily for those who have been clinically assigned as severe, the Health Ministry has said.
India’s second wave has led to a huge surge in demand for medical oxygen and other critical resources needed for treating Covid patients.
This morning, India reported over 4 lakh fresh infections for fourth day in a week. The spike in cases and distress messages from across the country has prompted the United States, the United Kingdom and many other nations to offer support to India.