GUWAHATI: The Assam health department has asked the respective district authorities to explore the possibilities of turning hotels near hospitals into observation centres to accommodate the growing number of asymptomatic patients.The Assam health department has asked the respective district authorities to explore the possibilities of turning hotels near hospitals into observation centres to accommodate the growing number of asymptomatic patients.
The health department is looking to give better facilities to patients with round-the-clock monitoring of their health, assisted by ambulance facilities, which is not always feasible while in home isolation.
Private hospitals in Guwahati are likely to tie up with their nearby hotels by this week, considering the rush of Covid patients to hospitals in Kamrup (Metropolitan) district, where maximum new positive cases are being detected during the second wave of the virus. The patients, except for those from below poverty line (BPL) families, will have to pay only the room rent of hotels but the hospitals will constantly monitor their health status.
“There will be medical facilities at the hotels and the government will also provide ambulances, if the need arises to shift Covid patients. This facility of preferring hotels over hospitals will be for those asymptomatic patients, who can afford to pay hotel rent and not for BPL patients,” said health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday.
The Kamrup (Metropolitan) district administration convened a meeting here on Tuesday with representatives from hotel and hospital managements to felicitate the process.
As the government hospitals in Guwahati are feeling the heat already due to the growing number of positive cases in the city, many Covid-positive patients are getting admitted in private hospitals.
Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) principal Dr Achyut Baishya told TOI that in six government hospitals in and around the city, about 95% of beds reserved for Covid patients are full. “Many positive patients are preferring private hospitals because the government hospitals are almost full with Covid patients, despite some patients being discharged everyday,” Baishya said.
District administration officials said if the plan materializes, it will mainly help many patients who are preferring home isolation now. Nearly 45% (742 cases) of the total positive cases detected from across Assam (1,651 cases) on Tuesday were from Kamrup (Metropolitan) district only. “Though most of the active cases are still in home isolation, hardly a few have ambulances ready and other medical facilities to deal with any emergency. Private hospitals are ready to coordinate with us and shift them into hotels, if they are willing to feel medically more secure and feel like at home. The hotels and hospitals in Guwahati have agreed to our proposal,” said Kamrup (Metropolitan) additional deputy commissioner Sharmistha Borah.