The Greater Chennai Corporation is planning to permit the private sector to start COVID-19 Care Centres for patients with mild symptoms.
Private hospitals have been asked to contact the Corporation for getting permission to run the private care centres through tie-ups with private hotels or other agencies that own property.
Currently, the Corporation has more than 12,000 beds in COVID-19 Care Centres. Of them, 1,487 beds are occupied. With the city registering more than 3,700 cases every day, the demand for care centres is expected to increase. Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash on Tuesday announced that the civic body would give clearance for private COVID-19 Care Centres.
“Blanket clearance has been given to the private sector to start private care centres with the required medical team and infrastructure,” he said.
Ensuring more facilities
“This is to ensure more facilities across the city in a short span of time and also to lessen the pressure on the health infrastructure,” he said.
The civic body would offer free services at its care centres and would not regulate prices at the private COVID-19 Care Centres.
“It is the market that will decide. Besides, this is purely based on the choice of the individual. The GCC expects that the number of private care centres would be known only after the rollout happens,” Mr. Prakash said.
“A tie-up between hospitals and hotels is not necessary for getting a permit for a COVID-19 Care Centre. If the hotels have in-house medical teams, that’s enough,” he said.
Pointing to an increase in regulation by civic officials, Mr. Prakash said compliance with wearing masks had gone up in the past few days.
“The establishments that are having high footfalls are behaving with more discipline. Vaccination for all above 18 has been planned with specific target groups that have the potential to become super-spreaders,” he said.
GCC Joint Commissioner (Health) Alby John Varghese said the Corporation had decided to actively encourage private practitioners to refer symptomatic people for free testing at Corporation centres. “So, if you have symptoms, you can tell the fever survey worker, who will guide you to get tested. Walk-ins are also permitted. Residents are advised to go to a fever camp or urban primary health centre and get tested. Residents can go on their own to one of the centres of the Corporation,” he said.