Hospital beds to be used for moderate to severe Covid-19 cases

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) The Union Health Ministry has released a document on management of Covid-19 cases, dividing them into three categories depending on the severity of the disease.

The available data in India suggests that nearly 70 per cent of the Covid-19 cases either exhibit mild or very mild symptoms. Such cases may not require admission to Covid-19 blocks/dedicated Covid-19 hospitals.
The government on Tuesday released a guidance document on appropriate management of suspect/confirmed cases of Covid-19. With this, the Health Ministry has put in place standard operating procedures (SOPs) to provide care to all Covid-19 patients.
This will ensure that the available hospital beds are is used only for moderate to severe cases of Covid-19. The SOPs also specify the different types of facilities to be set up for various categories of Covid-19 cases.
Three types of Covid-19 dedicated facilities are proposed in this document. All the three types will have separate earmarked areas for suspect and confirmed cases. Suspect and confirmed cases should not be allowed to mix under any circumstances.
All suspect cases (irrespective of severity of their disease) will be tested for Covid-19. Further management of these cases will depend on their clinical status and result of Covid-19 testing. All the three types of facilities will be linked to the surveillance team (IDSP).
The Covid Care Centres (CCC) will offer care only for cases that have been clinically assigned as mild or very mild cases or Covid-19 suspect cases.
The Covid Care Centres are makeshift facilities. These may be set up in hostels, hotels, schools, stadiums, lodges etc., both public and private. If need be, existing quarantine facilities could also be converted into Covid Care Centres. Functional hospitals like CHCs, etc., which may be handling regular, non-Covid cases, should be designated as Covid Care Centres as a last resort.
Wherever a Covid Care Centre is designated for admitting both the confirmed and the suspected cases, these facilities must have separate areas for suspected and confirmed cases with preferably separate entry and exit. Suspect and confirmed cases must not be allowed to mix under any circumstances.
As far as possible, wherever suspect cases are admitted to the Covid Care Centre, preferably individual rooms should be assigned for such cases.
The next in line is the Dedicated Covid Health Centres (DCHC), which are hospitals that shall offer care for all cases that have been clinically assigned as moderate. These should either be a full hospital or a separate block in a hospital with preferably separate entry/exit/zoning.
Private hospitals may also be designated as Covid Dedicated Health Centres, according to the document. These hospitals would have beds with assured oxygen support.
The Dedicated COVID Hospitals are hospitals that shall offer comprehensive care primarily for those who have been clinically assigned as severe.
Private hospitals may also be designated as Covid Dedicated Hospitals. These hospitals would have fully equipped ICUs, ventilators and beds with assured oxygen support.
The statesUTs may identify hospitals with dedicated and separate space and set up fever clinics in such hospitals. The fever clinics may also be set up in CHCs, in rural areas subject to availability of sufficient space to minimise the risk of cross infections.
In urban areas, the civilgeneral hospitals, urban CHCs and municipal hospitals may also be designated as fever clinics. These could be set up preferably near the main entrance for triage and referral to appropriate Covid dedicated facility. Wherever space allows, a temporary make shift arrangement outside the facility may be arranged for this triaging.
Patients may be categorised into three groups and managed in the respective Covid hospitals — dedicated COVID Care Centre, dedicated COVID Health Centre and dedicated COVID Hospitals.