New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Amid rising cases of novel coronavirus in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory for hospitals and medical education institutes to decrease gatherings on their respective premises.
The adivsory shall be followed till March 31.
“The medical infrastructure in the country needs to be prepared for possible influx of patients on account of COVID-19. In this context, the following interventions are proposed up to March 31. They will be reviewed as per the evolving situation,” the Ministry said.
The advisory lists interventions for indoor facilities, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities and administrative issues.
According to the advisory, non-essential elective surgeries should be postponed, some beds set apart for creating isolation facilities in public and private hospital. All hospitals must provide free treatment to medical personnel who pick up infection while treating patients.
The Ministry also said that no suspected coronavirus positive patient should be turned away from hospital and such admissions be notified to the National Centre for Disease Control or Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme immediately.
Similarly, all pneumonia patients will also be notified to NCDC or IDSP so that they can be tested for novel coronavirus. The Ministry directed hospitals to ensure social distancing within their premises.
“Leave of all kind (except under emergency and unavoidable circumstances) may be cancelled immediately. Hospitals may ensure that stable patients are discharged as early as possible while further new admissions (of stable patients) are also restricted.”
The advisory said that other patients must be counselled against attaching any stigma to coronavirus patients or to facilities where such patients are admitted.
The Ministry also advised all hospitals to carry out preparedness drill on March 22 and to postpone non-essential audits of hospitals by regulators and accreditation agencies.
All patients may be advised not to come for routine visits to the OPDs if it can be avoided or postponed. Patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms are to be attended to separately from other patients and spaced out so as to avoid overcrowding.
The Ministry also said that pharmacy counters may be increased and queue management systems followed by engaging the Indian Red Cross and NDRF volunteers.