A high-powered committee, set up by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has recommended fixing the cost of an COVID-19 isolation bed in private hospitals in Delhi in the range of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 and an ICU bed with ventilator at Rs 15,000-Rs 18,000 per day, the Home Ministry said on Friday.
The committee, under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog member V K Paul, was constituted on Sunday to ensure the availability of 60 per cent beds by private hospitals at lower rates and fix the rate of coronavirus testing and treatment.
“The committee has recommended Rs 8000-10000, 13000-15000 & 15000-18000 including PPE costs for isolation bed, ICUs without & with ventilator respectively to all hospitals as compared to the current charges of Rs 24000-25000, 34000-43000 & 44000-54000 (excluding PPE cost),” a Home Ministry spokesperson said in a tweet.
The spokesperson said the committee was set up by Shah to provide relief to the common man in the national capital and to fix rates charged by private hospitals in Delhi for isolation beds, ICUs without ventilator support and ICUs with ventilator support.
As per the directions given by the home minister, in a series of meetings chaired by him over last few days with regards to the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, house-to-house health survey in 242 containment zones of Delhi completed on Thursday and a total of 2.3 lakh people were surveyed.
Shah also directed for increasing testing capacity and quick delivery of results in Delhi and testing through the rapid antigen testing methodology. It was started on Thursday.
A total of 7,040 people have been tested in 193 testing centres and testing will continue with increased numbers in the coming days, the spokesperson said.
“Sample testing has been doubled immediately in pursuance of decisions taken by HM @AmitShah in a series of meetings. A total of testing samples of 27,263 have been collected in #Delhi from 15 to 17 June 2020 against the daily collection which varied between 4,000-4,500 earlier,” the spokesperson said in another tweet.
The home minister has swung into action to handle the coronavirus situation in the national capital since Sunday after criticism in different quarters of the Delhi government’s handling of the COVID-19 cases with complaints of non-availability of beds in hospitals for patients and difficulty in getting the tests done in laboratories.
The home minister has been leading from the front after taking charge of Delhi’s fight against the coronavirus.
The home minister had several meetings with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior officials in last five days to strengthen the health infrastructure in Delhi.
Amit Shah had also visited the national capital’s LNJP Hospital on Monday and took stock of its healthcare facilities, besides giving necessary instructions for improvement.
On Wednesday, the home ministry announced that the price for the COVID-19 test in Delhi has been fixed at Rs 2,400 as suggested by the Paul Committee and tests will be done via rapid antigen methodology.
The home minister on Thursday held a meeting with top functionaries of the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) to review the COVID-19 situation in the capital and its adjoining areas.
Amit Shah said there should be a unified strategy for the Delhi and NCR to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the suburbs like Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad can’t be separated from the national capital.
On Thursday, the home ministry also announced that the central government has targeted to conduct six lakh COVID-19 test in Delhi through the new rapid antigen methodology in 169 new facilities being set up in the capital.
The central government is also going to provide 500 additional ventilators to Delhi’s hospitals and 650 additional ambulances.