New Delhi: Predicting a rise in the number of cases of chikungunya, dengue, and malaria over the next few months, the Delhi government issued a circular asking private hospitals and nursing homes to increase their number of bed count by 10-20% till October 31 in order to prevent a repetition of what happened in 2015.
These diseases caused a health crisis in the capital in 2015 when tehre were more than 16,000 cases of dengue and 60 deaths.
The circular reads: “It has been observed that increased number of cases of dengue, chikungunya and malaria is being reported. It is likely that the number of cases may further increase during the monsoon. Therefore, timely action needs to be taken.”
The additional beds should be used to treat patients with fever who show symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases only. And these patients must be charged only 50% of the lowest tariff category of the hospital, as per the circular.
Municipal Corporations of Delhi have reported 56 cases of dengue, 109 of malaria, and 37 of chikungunya in Delhi residents till August 4 already.
Hospitals and nursing homes in Delhi have to provide 80 sq ft space for one bed and 60 sq ft for every additional bed in a ward, excluding space for toilets.
“If there is an outbreak like in 2015, government hospitals might not be equipped to handle everyone who needs treatment. The norms are relaxed so that everyone receives adequate medical care,” a senior Delhi government official told Hindustan Times.
“These beds not only have to be available but also affordable,” the official said. Additional ‘fever beds’ can be added in corridors and patients can even share beds in a crisis.