The Nagaland Government has asked the private hospitals in the State to reserve at least 50 percent of their beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients and meet emergency requirements. 

Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam issued the direction on Wednesday night in view of the steep rise in COVID-19 positive cases, who require hospitalsation, in the State over the last few weeks.  

He said the projections made for the number of ICU beds, oxygen-supported beds and ward beds were discussed in the state-level COVID war room at Nagaland Civil Secretariat in Kohima. 

The need for mobilising resources available in the private hospitals to ensure effective management of COVID-19 patients was discussed with the representatives of private hospitals on May 3 and 4. 

Following the meeting, the government directed all the private hospitals to provide for treatment of COVID-19 patients as per the Standard Operating Procedure by reserving at least 50 percent of the bed capacity of the normal wards and the ICU available with them. 

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It said the respective District Task Force will ensure compliance with the order. 

The private hospitals were also asked to make reasonable the treatment charges of the COVID-19 patients.  

The government said additional charges on account of requirement for treatment of these patients over and above the normal charges for the same service for non- COVID-19 patients provided by the private hospitals should be transparently charged and reasonable. 

It ordered that the hospital authority notify and display the rates prominently for wide visibility. 

The government has also issued guidelines for government and private hospitals engaged in management of COVID-19 patients. 

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It said all hospitals involved in management of confirmed COVID-19 cases should set up flu corner for screening of suspected cases and isolation facility to isolate suspected or probable cases till the test result is declared.  

It also said all ILI and SARI cases and admitted patients should be tested as ICMR testing policy. 

It has been made mandatory to immediately test all admitted patients, irrespective of types of illness, for COVID-19 through rapid antigen test or Truenat/CBNAAT or RT-PCR in conformity with testing policy for Covid-19 issued from time to time on payment basis approved by the government. 

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com