A panel set up by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended lowering the cost of isolation beds and treatment in intensive care units of private hospitals in Delhi. In a series of tweets on Friday, the ministry said it had set up the committee under a member of the Niti Aayog, as per the instructions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The committee recommended cutting the cost of isolation beds to Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 per day. This is nearly half of the present rates, NDTV reported. It recommended that the cost of an intensive care unit without a ventilator be slashed to Rs 13,000-Rs 15,000 per day. For ICU with ventilators, the recommended cost was between Rs 15,000 and Rs 18,000.
“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),” the ministry tweeted. Thus, the rates for ICU with and without ventilators could be cut by about two-thirds if the recommendations are accepted.
Delhi has more coronavirus patients than any other city in India except Mumbai. As of Friday morning, Delhi had reported 49,979 cases of the coronavirus, including 1,969 deaths and 21,341 recoveries, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Last week, the Supreme Court reprimanded the Delhi government, calling the situation in the city “horrendous, horrific and pathetic”. It also issued a notice to the Centre.
After the court’s rap, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with the Delhi government and announced measures like increased testing and provision of railway coaches to bring the Capital’s outbreak under control. He also chaired an all-party meeting on June 15 to discuss the situation in Delhi. The same day, Amit Shah asked Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev to install CCTV cameras in all Covid-19 wards of hospitals.
The Maharashtra government had last week capped the cost of Covid-19 tests by private laboratories at Rs 2,200 per person. On June 17, testing rates in Delhi were capped at Rs 2,400.