Amid reports of people being rejected or forced to wait in hospitals for a long time, the Delhi government on Thursday issued a new standard operating procedure or SOP to treat patients with coronavirus.
According to the rules, patients with COVID-19 will be taken to the triage area from the ambulance without requesting any details. This process should be completed in 15 minutes. On-call physicians must see the patient within one hour. Food and water should also be available in the waiting area.
If there are no beds available at the hospital, it will be the sole responsibility of the hospital to transfer the patient to another and until then the hospital will provide medical care to the patient, according to the new rules.
The rules also detail the steps for patients who fall into the moderate to asymptomatic categories, detailing how they should be quarantined and discharged.
Hospital authorities should maintain a dedicated 24-hour helpline for patient complaints about treatment or the quality of food and other facilities, he said.
The rules came a day when the central government voiced concern over the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, as the capital registered 1,359 new coronavirus cases, taking the city’s count past the 25,000 mark, and the number of deaths at 650.
A day ago, Delhi had recorded the highest peak in a single day of 1,513 cases.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Thursday that the increasing number of COVID cases, a high positivity rate and low levels of testing in parts of the national capital was worrying.
Chairing an online meeting to review the Delhi situation, he emphasized the need for increased evidence, along with aggressive surveillance, contact tracing, and stringent containment and perimeter control measures.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said his government’s entire focus is to save lives and ensure adequate facilities for COVID-19 patients who need hospital care.
In another order on Thursday, the Delhi government said 56 private facilities were instructed to reserve a proportional number of beds for COVID-19 patients and others for economically weaker sections.