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India Coronavirus News: Center asks private hospitals to reserve beds for isolation | India News

NEW DELHI: Seeking to increase preparedness to fight Covid-19, the government asked private hospitals to reserve beds for patient isolation and also issued separate guidelines for testing and reporting positive patients by private institutions, including hospitals and laboratories.

The guidelines issued by the government on Tuesday also include the clinical management of the disease and the protocol for the management of the bodies of the deceased, even when the government decided to cordon off in private laboratories to increase the network of tests.

Private laboratories have been asked to collect samples from the door to avoid the risk of infection. In addition, appropriate biosecurity and biosafety precautions must be ensured when collecting samples. Alternatively, a separate disease-specific collection site can be created, according to the guidelines. Once the validation process is complete, private labs are likely to start testing starting next week.

The Indian Medical Research Council asked the laboratories to perform the tests free of charge. ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said the country needed the support of such laboratories to overcome the new coronavirus crisis.

The government is in talks with private hospitals to negotiate the cost of treatment in case beds are used.

Covid-19 positive cases rose to 137 on Tuesday, including three deaths, according to the health ministry. State reports put the number at 143.

“There is no evidence of community transmission yet. Progressively, we have asked private hospitals to assign isolation beds. This is for preparation only. Many players have shown interest in participating in the efforts. So we are sharing different SOPs with them and we ask them to be prepared according to protocols, ”said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the ministry of health.

The government also continued to tighten restrictions on entry to the country with passenger travel from Afghanistan, the Philippines and Malaysia prohibited with immediate effect. “No flight will take off from these countries to India after 3 p.m. IST,” the new notice said. The government believes that entry restrictions announced since February 26, along with rigorous follow-up of contacts, have helped limit transmission of the virus.

According to test guidelines issued for the private sector, a laboratory test should only be offered when prescribed by a qualified physician as directed by ICMR. “As the guideline evolves periodically, the latest revised version should be followed,” said Agarwal.

ICMR will share the POEs for laboratory tests and will provide positive controls to establish the test as soon as the primers, probes and reagents have been purchased by the private laboratory in question. The adoption of commercial test kits should be based on validations performed by ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, Agarwal said.

“Following the prevailing situation of Covid-19 and to strengthen containment measures, it is of utmost importance that each and every Covid-19 case (suspected / confirmed) is isolated and provided with appropriate treatment and your contacts are tracked. as soon as possible to break the transmission chain. It is important to have the support and cooperation of the private sector in this regard, ”said the government.

Experts say that most Covid-19 cases are mild and self-limiting. According to the World Health Organization, only 20% of patients progress to serious and critical illnesses and require supportive care interventions, such as oxygen and ventilation.

Authorities said the preparation was based on risk assessment taking into account the age, travel history, contact tracing and comorbidities of the samples that have been collected so far. With 137 positive cases so far, more than 5,700 people who have been in contact are under surveillance. In addition, 69,436 people are under community surveillance.

To determine if there is a risk of community transmission, the government is waiting for ICMR to test more than 1,000 randomly collected samples from people with severe acute respiratory infection, such as pneumonia, with no history of travel or contact. Results are expected on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the government maintained that there is only limited localized transmission and there is no need to panic.

Guidelines on the handling of dead bodies, precautions, infection control, and environmental cleaning and disinfection were also published. With coronavirus cases on the rise and concerns about travelers hiding their itineraries, the government had banned passengers from European Union countries, Turkey and the United Kingdom on Monday until March 31.

Times of India