India to set up COVID-19 hospitals

India to set up COVID-19 hospitals
AIIMS New Delhi’s National Cancer Institute Jhajjar
NEW DELHI, MAR 22 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/22/2020 1:36:57 PM IST

The Centre on Sunday said it would set up dedicated COVID-19 hospitals to manage patients as and when the situation arises.

The government took the lead in this direction by earmarking AIIMS New Delhi’s National Cancer Institute Jhajjar as an earmarked COVID hospital. It has 800 beds.

ICMR chief Balram Bhargava said all states have agreed to set up dedicated hospitals to ensure infection control and zero mixing up of COVID positive patients with the uninfected.

Bhargava also said the Indian cases are rising due to more and more Indian nationals being brought back from highly COVID affected nations.

“The only way to break the chain of viral transmission in India is isolate, isolate, isolate everyone returning from international travel,” Bhargava said clarifying the Indian decision against indiscriminate testing.

Bhargava said the country needs to isolate everyone returning from abroad — put them in government quarantine or home quarantine depending on the risk assessment.

“Even those in home isolation must stay in a separate room from their family, and maintain one metre distance,” Bhargava said.

ICMR also said the enhancement of lab testing capacity was meant to handle the loss of cases in the wake of more and more Indians being brought back from abroad.

So far 60 private labs have registered with the government for COVID testing. Three have been approved.

The government reiterated its morning decision to lockdown 75 districts with COVID cases and deaths and extend the list of needed.

“Essential services like grocery stores, pharmacy, fire, medical, milk and fruits and venerable stores would remain open,” Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said.

India is testing less number of people with per week average of 5000 as against US’ 26,000 and Italy’s 52,000.

ICMR said indiscriminate testing is not needed.

“We have advised home quarantine for international passengers who have returned and even they need to be tested only if they present symptoms,” Bhargava said.

India now has 341 cases and five deaths, one more death from Maharashtra today. The government said lockdown is the best solution to break the chain of virus transmission, which India is heading to.

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