Representative image (Source: Reuters)
The Centre on May 8 revised the national policy for admission of COVID-19 patients to the hospitals. A test report confirming the coronavirus infection is no longer mandatory for admission of patients to the COVID-dedicated medical facilities, the Union Health Ministry said.
"Requirement of a positive test for COVID-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a COVID health facility. A suspect case shall be admitted to the suspect ward of CCC (COVID Care Center), DCHC (Dedicated COVID Health Centre) or DHC (Dedicated COVID Hospital) as the case may be," said a statement issued by the Health Ministry.
As per the government's guidelines, the patients with mild symptoms are to be admitted at the CCC, those with moderate symptoms at DCHC and those clinically assigned as severely infected are to be treated at the DHC.
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The Centre, while announcing the revision in hospital admission policy, said no patient will be refused services on any count. "This includes medications such as oxygen or essential drugs even if the patient belongs to a different city," it stated.
No patient shall be refused admission on the ground that he/she is not able to produce a valid identity card that does not belong to the city where the hospital is located, the Health Ministry further added.
The Centre, however, underlined that admissions to hospital must be based on need. "It should be ensured that beds are not occupied by persons who do not need hospitalisation," it said.
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The change in hospital admission policy for COVID-19 patients comes amid a sharp spike in virus transmission rate across the country, which has stressed the labs conducting the RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests. Furthermore, experts are also claiming that the mutated coronavirus requires CT scan to be detected in certain cases.
The Health Ministry statement noted that the chief secretaries of all states and union territories are required to incorporate the revised policy "within three days".
"This patient-centric measure aims to ensure prompt, effective and comprehensive treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19," it added.