Private hospitals in Kerala’s Ernakulam may set aside 50% of beds for COVID patients

Private hospitals in Ernakulam may set aside 50% of beds for COVID-19 patients in view of the spike in the number of cases in the district.

District Collector Jafar Malik will hold a meeting with representatives of private hospitals on Friday. Of the total of around 11,000 beds in private hospitals, 3,400 have been earmarked for COVID patients. If the hospital managements agree to raise it to 50%, the number of beds available for COVID patients will go up to 5,500, according to official sources.

“We have no difficulty in allocating 50% of beds for COVID patients in view of the current situation,” said Dr. Thomas Paul, president of the Ernakulam wing of Kerala Private Hospitals’ Association.

The district administration and the district health wing hope that Ernakulam, which now figures under the ‘B’ (Threshold 2) category, will be able to shift to the ‘A’ (Threshold 1) category, if private hospitals agree to set aside 50% of beds for COVID patients.

The district-wise restrictions have been imposed on the basis of the number of people admitted to hospitals since January 20. According to government guidelines, the Health department has to provide this information to the District Disaster Management Authority every Thursday. The authority then divides districts into three groups — A, B, and C — based on the information and announces the categories every Friday.

If the rate of hospital admissions doubles from the baseline date (January 1) and the rate of COVID patients admitted to ICU exceeds 50%, the district concerned will be included in Category A. A maximum of 50 persons can attend all social, cultural, political, religious, community and public functions, weddings, and funerals in the district, if it is under Category A.

At present, Ernakulam is under Category B. The district administration had earlier pointed out that it would not permit social, cultural, political, religious, community, or public events, as the district fell under category B. Religious worship should be conducted online. A maximum of 20 persons are allowed for marriage and posthumous ceremonies, according to the guidelines.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 10:22:30 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/private-hospitals-in-keralas-ernakulam-may-set-aside-50-of-beds-for-covid-patients/article38334438.ece