Mumbai hospitals will use luxury hotels to treat COVID-19 patients with milder infection, the city's administration said today as it tried to ramp up facilities for patients needing critical care with cases shooting up. Two hotels will start functioning as extensions of private hospitals from today.
Private hospitals will tie up with four star or five star hotels to accommodate more patients and those not needing critical care are likely to be moved from hospitals to hotels. Doctors have to approve such transfers.
The hotels, designated as "step down facilities" where minimum medical intervention is required for Covid patients, will act as extensions of major private hospitals, according to the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). The hotels will need a minimum of 20 rooms for Covid cases and will have round-the-clock medical services including doctor consultations, nurses, medicines and ambulance transfer.
Hospitals can charge up to Rs 4,000 for these facilities and Rs 6,000 for a room if anyone is staying with the patient.
Covid positive people who are asymptomatic can also use these hotels.
"Private hospitals and linked up hotels must have proper understanding and seamless coordination," said the BMC.
This has been done to ensure more hospital beds for patients who really need it, officials said.
The order comes as Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra face a massive number of Covid cases in the deadly second wave of infections.
Mumbai recorded 9,931 new cases and 54 deaths on Wednesday.
"It is seen that many beds in private hospitals are occupied by patients who do not require emergency medical intervention, such patients can be effectively and adequately managed at isolation facilities such as step-down facilities," said a notice of the public health department.
To manage the crush of virus cases, the administration has decided to turn some private hospitals into dedicated Covid facilities for advanced critical care.
Jaslok Hospital is among them. According to an order of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, it will only admit Covid patients and others who need advanced treatment will be moved to nearby hospitals within 48 hours.
Patients from Bombay Hospital in south Mumbai who do not require critical care will be shifted to the Intercontinental Hotel on Marine Drive. Patients from the HN Reliance Foundation Hospital will be moved to the Trident Hotel at the Bandra-Kurla Complex.
Thirty more ICU beds are being added to Seven Hills Hospital today and 1,500 additional beds will be added in NESCO Jumbo in a week.
Municipal Commissioner IS Chahal announced that an additional 250 Covid beds would come online on the BMC dashboard (including 40 ICU beds) from Saturday morning to help needy citizens.