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COVID+ Report Not Mandatory for Treatment at Hospitals: Govt to SC

The affidavit pertains to a suo motu case taken up by the apex court to ensure COVID-related supplies and services.

Published
India
2 min read
COVID+ Report Not Mandatory for Treatment at Hospitals: Govt to SC
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In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the Centre has submitted that all central and state government hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have been directed to ensure that no person is refused admission over lack of a valid identity card that doesn’t belong to the city where the hospital is located, or a positive COVID-19 test report.

Submitted on the night of Sunday, 10 May, the Centre’s affidavit pertains to a suo motu case by the apex court for ensuring essential supplies and services during the health emergency.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has conveyed to all state governments regarding the policy of setting up three-tier health infrastructure for appropriate management of suspect and confirmed COVID-19 cases, the affidavit states.

It also added that as the vaccination of the entire country is not possible in one stretch due to no ‘detailed planning time,’ inoculating the vulnerable groups will be of prime importance, it said.

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The affidavit also addresses the national policy on health centres for treatment of COVID-19.

It said that the guidance document issued in this regard on 7 April, 2020, mandates setting up of:

  1. COVID Care Centre (CCC) for mild cases, and these have been set up in hostels, hotels, schools, stadiums and lodges, both public and private. The affidavit adds further, "Functional hospitals like Community Health Centres (CHCs), etc, which may be handling regular, non-COVID cases may also be designated as COVID Care Centres as a last resort.”
  2. Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) that shall offer care for all cases that have been clinically assigned as moderate. These should either be a full hospital or a separate block in a hospital with preferably separate entry/exit/zoning. Private hospitals may also be designated as COVID Dedicated Health Centres. These hospitals shall have beds with assured Oxygen support.”
  3. For severe cases, the Centre said, a dedicated COVID hospital shall offer comprehensive care, like fully equipped ICUs, Ventilators and beds with assured oxygen support.
Since a positive test is not mandatory for admission, “a COVID suspect shall be admitted to the suspect ward of CCC, DCHC or DHC as the case may be”, the affidavit added.

The Centre noted that no patient will be refused services on any count. This included essential medicines and oxygen.

The government notified the top court that admissions to hospitals are to be based on need and it will be ensured that beds are not occupied by those who do not need hospitalisation.

The notice also stated that chief of all states and Union Territories had been asked to issue circulars incorporating these directions within three days, which shall be in force till replaced by an appropriate uniform policy.

Further, owing to the need of trained human resources to combat the health emergency, it stated, "The Centre also submitted that Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has written to all the Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary Health/Medical education of all States and UTs, to provide for extraordinary measures to augment the need of medical staff in the country.”

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