Coronavirus: Mamata govt ropes in private hospitals

Kolkata, March 19 (IANS) West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee government on Thursday included the state’s private hospitals in the fight against Corona virus infection and announced 300 beds were being earmarked for patients contracting the disease.

Pointing that the next few weeks would be crucial in no combating the menace, she said during a meeting with representatives of private hospitals that they should be ready to accept patients with Covid-19 infection.

“It’s not the time to be businessminded and flout rules. It’s a time to help each other,” the Chief Minister said during the drliberstins at the State secretariat Nabanna. Representatives of state government hospitals also attended the meeting.

Banerjee said the number of beds at the state’s primary referral hospital for infectious diseases ID Hospital Beleghata was being raised from 22 to 100 to reduce the pressure on the hospital.

“There are 22 beds there. We will have to increase it to 100. At the M.R. Bangur Hospital there is a new building where 150 beds can be arranged.”

She said an additional 50 beds would be provided at a building in R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital which now serves as a night shelter.

“We have ordered 300 ventilation machines of which 70 have been delivered. We have ordered two lakh masks, 30,000 gloves,” she said.

When private hospital representatives complained about shortage of protective gear, the government assured that it will be delivered.

“We have started a Rs 200 crore fund. Let us set up a fund where private sector can help share the cost to solve the problem. If corporate sector can sponsor equipment, it will help humanity,” she said.

Banerjee warned that there should not be hoarding of essentials and iterated the government would clamp hard on those adopting unethical means by exploiting the prevailing situation.



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