KATHMANDU, April 6: The government is planning to bring all private hospitals under its control in order to fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19) that has wreaked havoc across the world, a senior government official said on Sunday.
During a hearing of three Covid-19 pandemic cases at the Supreme Court, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bikash Devkota said that the government is planning to bring all the private hospitals and colleges under its jurisdiction as the COVID-19 crisis worsens by the day in the country.
The government informed the apex court about its plan as private hospitals are refraining from conducting tests of coronavirus suspects. Dr. Devkota informed the division bench of justices Hari Krishna Karki and Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai which began the hearing on the case of coronavirus pandemic.
The government's plan comes at a time when private hospitals are reluctant to admit any suspects of COVID-19, courting widespread criticisms from the public. "The government will take all the hospitals under its control. All the beds and the medical colleges would be operated under the control of the government," said Dr Devkota.
Dr. Devkota, however, did not make it clear by when the government would take the private medical institutions under its control.
The hearing in relation to the cases lodged at the Supreme Court would also continue on Monday. After that, the court will decide whether or not to issue an interim order. The petitioners filed the case demanding that the government provide sufficient health materials to medical persons, security personnel and journalists, ensure food for the poor and low-income people and issue an ordinance to address the existing legal difficulties.
According to Dr. Devkota, there are 27,8,18 quarantine beds and 3,114 isolation beds across the country in order to tackle the pandemic. The criteria of quarantine has been finalized by the central government and local authorities would monitor if that criteria is being followed or not.
Dr. Devkota also added that the government has completed all necessary preparation to conduct tests of 4,000 individuals in a week. He also said that there is a requirement of 3,500 ICU beds in every province but currently there are only 751 ICU beds across the country."Quarantine would be the best option to fight against the pandemic as per the worldwide experience across the country," Dr. Devkota added.