Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government Sunday directed hospitals not to refuse admission to Covid-19 patients and also asked government hospitals to refer patients to private hospitals, if beds are unavailable.
The cost of this will be borne by the state government, Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said in a virtual press conference.
“In a review meeting today, CM Yogi Adityanath ordered that hospitals can not say no to Covid-19 patients for admission. If they do not have bed then in that case they refer them to a private hospital. State government will bear expenses in those cases. Poor people will not have to pay bills,” said Sehgal.
He added that the government will also take action against private hospitals found charging poor patients.
According to a source in the government, those who are directed to private hospitals for treatment will be reimbursed by the UP government under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
At the press conference, Sehgal also noted that there was sufficient oxygen available in all hospitals in the state.
“The government has asked all hospitals with 100 beds or more to set up their own oxygen plants. This would reduce their dependence on liquid oxygen to a great extent,” he said.
ThePrint had earlier reported that Uttar Pradesh was facing an acute health crisis due to shortage of oxygen and hospital beds.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also released a statement earlier today, saying there was no shortage of oxygen in the state.
”There is no shortage of oxygen in any COVID hospital, be it private or government. The problem is black marketing and hoarding, which will be tackled with a heavy hand. We are going to conduct an oxygen audit in collaboration with IIT Kanpur, IIM Lucknow and IIT BHU for proper monitoring of oxygen. The system of live tracking of oxygen demand, supply and distribution will be implemented,” said the chief minister.
However, despite the government orders, several private hospitals continue to deny admission to patients because they do not have any available ICU beds. ThePrint contacted six private hospitals Sunday and all of them said they could not admit any new patients.
UP govt places orders for 1 crore vaccine shots
The UP government has also placed orders for 1 crore doses of Covid vaccines — 50 lakh doses each of Covaxin and Covishield. Besides this, additional doses will be provided by the Centre, according to a statement released by the government.
Meanwhile, the number of daily Covid cases came down significantly Sunday for the first time in days.
According to Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan, 35,614 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours, compared to over 38,000 cases Saturday. The number of recoveries numbered at 25,633.
“Covid cases are down today. We tested 2,29,578 samples yesterday in which 35,614 tested positive. Day before yesterday we tested 2,25,960 samples and 38,055 were positive,” said Mohan.
(Edited by Rachel John)