BHUBANESWAR: With Odisha witnessing a rise in number of new coronavirus cases, the state government has extended the functioning of Dedicated Covid Hospitals (DCHs) and Covid Care Centres (CCCs) run by private entities in collaboration with public sector undertakings for next three months.
The decision has been taken following the recommendation of Technical Committee, constituted to oversee Covid-19 management in the state, and the prediction by various national and global agencies that the coronavirus infection may rise further during the festive season.
The Health and Family Welfare department has, however, directed the districts to reduce the number of general beds by 50 per cent where the occupancy is less than half of the capacity in the last two weeks.
Accordingly, the districts will have to renew the agreement with the private hospitals and the funding agencies for a period up to December 31 with the clauses to dehire or add the facilities gradually as per requirement.
Additional Chief Secretary of Health department PK Mohapatra said the Covid facilities will remain functional till further decision, which will be taken in due course of time as per the situation. "We have asked the Collectors to reduce the number of general beds in the districts where occupancy is less.
However, the ICUs and other facilities like maternity OT, Labour room and dialysis will remain unaltered irrespective of occupancy," he said.
Although Odisha had initially set up DCHs and CCCs in partnership with private hospitals in all 30 districts to prevent patients visiting the state-run public hospitals from catching the coronavirus infection easily, it has now established its own Covid hospitals separately on the campuses of medical colleges at Berhampur, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Balasore, Koraput and Baripada.
The State has 48 DCHs with a capacity of 7328 general beds and 710 ICU beds besides 148 CCCs with 21,059 beds. While the number of active cases now stands at 13,711, more than 85 pc patients are in home isolation.
As per agreement, Government pays upto Rs 4750, including the bed charge of Rs 3000 and consumables of Rs 1750, per day for a Covid patient admitted to a general bed in DCH. The charges in CCCs for a patient per day is Rs 2000.
"Now less than 2000 patients are in Covid facilities across the State. That is why we have decided to reduce the number of general beds. Why should the Government pay when the beds are lying vacant? The districts will take the decision as per the situation and keep the option open so that beds can be added as and when required," Mohapatra added.