NEW DELHI: The Centre on Sunday asked states to designate separate hospitals for treating coronavirus patients and the first such dedicated facility for COVID-19 patients could be the 800-bedded National Cancer Institute in Jhajjar, Haryana under AIIMS, Delhi.
The advisory comes as so far those infected with COVID-19—nearly 370 — have been treated with other patients at hospitals across the country, increasing the risk of infection to other patients.
A containment plan that was shared by the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare to states also said all suspect cases detected in the containment or buffer zones (till a diagnosis is made), will be hospitalized and kept in isolation in a designated facility till such time they are tested negative.
“Persons testing positive for COVID-19 will remain to be hospitalized till such time 2 of their samples are tested negative as per government’s discharge policy. About 15% of the patients are likely to develop pneumonia, 5 % of whom requires ventilator management,” said the document.
“Hence dedicated intensive care beds need to be identified earmarked. Some among them may progress to multi-organ failure and hence critical care facility, dialysis facility and salvage therapy (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenator) facility for managing the respiratory or renal complications multi-organ failure shall be required,” the plan also said.
If such facilities are not available in the containment zone, the ministry has said the nearest tertiary care facility in government or private sector needs to be identified, that becomes a part of the micro-plan.
The document further said that based on the risk assessment, if the situation so warrants (data suggested an exponential rise in the number of cases), the surge capacity of the identified hospitals will be enhanced, private hospitals will be roped in and sites for temporary hospitals identified and its logistic requirements will be worked out.
Meanwhile, at a joint press conference by the health ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research, officials said that the number of infections has increased in the last few days and testing strategy will be calibrated accordingly, but insisted that there would be no indiscriminate testing.
“We can test up to 10,000 samples a day,” said Dr Balram Bhargav, director-general of the ICMR.