New Delhi, May 8

Covid positive report will, henceforth, not be mandatory for admitting suspect Covid patients to hospitals and Covid-care centres.

The Health Ministry on Saturday revised hospital admission guidelines for people with Covid and directed states to ensure all suspect patients are admitted and given access to oxygen and drugs like any patient who has a Covid-positive report.

The change comes at a time when Covid testing has reduced due to drastic load on the system and India is attempting to seek intellectual property waiver at the WTO not just for vaccine, but also medicines and diagnostics.

The changes in hospitals admission policy notified today say, “the requirement of a positive test for COVID-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a COVID health facility. A suspect case shall be admitted to the suspect ward of Covid Care centre, Dedicated Covid Health Centre or Dedicated Covid hospital as the case may be.”

The new policy says no patient will be refused services on any count. This includes medications such as oxygen or essential drugs even if the patient belongs to a different city.

Also, no patient shall be refused admission on the ground that he/she is not able to produce a valid identity card that does not belong to the city where the hospital is located.

Admissions to hospital must be based on need, the policy says adding that it should be ensured that beds are not occupied by persons who do not need hospitalisation. Further, the discharge should be strictly in accordance with the revised discharge policy available.

Only yesterday the government told people with Covid symptoms to start home isolation and treatment without waiting for test results, which are getting delayed.

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