Hospitals can’t insist on coronavirus test before treatment,
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The Centre on Tuesday urged States to ensure that patients coming to hospitals for non-Covid essential services must be tended to, without insisting on Covid-19 tests.

Union health secretary Preeti Sudan in a letter written to state chief secretaries said :

• The government had received reports of private hospitals turning away or hesitating in treating patients needing important services such as dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy, and institutional deliveries even due to fear of contracting Covid-19 or because they are not functioning.

• While it is the need of the hour to keep our health systems in a state of readiness to surmount any possible surge in Covid-19 cases, it is also important that non-Covid essential services are also provided to those who need them.

• Many places the hospitals/clinics are insisting on a Covid-19 test before providing services.

• All hospitals to keep functioning and provide all essential health services to patients in need according to the guidelines for lockdown issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

• Covid-19 testing should be carried strictly as per ICMR protocols

• According to the protocol, testing allowed only for people with a history of international travel and develop symptoms, close contacts of those who have tested positive, healthcare workers treating Covid-19 patients, patients hospitalized with severe respiratory illnesses and individuals with influenza-like symptoms in hotspot areas.

• Use of protective equipment for healthcare workers to prevent infection.

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