Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma interacting with media persons on August 24

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on August 24 cautioned private hospitals in the state against refusing treatment to patients in the absence of COVID-19 negative report.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

Talking to reporters at a plasma donation camp by journalists in Guwahati, Sarma said: “Private hospitals cannot refuse treatment to a patient if he/she does not have a COVID-19 test report. In some cases, hospitals have reportedly refused to accept negative reports that are even two days old.”

“We shall issue regulations in the matter by the first week of next month, with the doctors liable to face ethical question for refusing treatment. If necessary, the doctors can wear PPE kits and attend to the patients,” he added.

With reports of private hospitals charging exorbitant rates for PPE kits emerging, the minister said: “Some private hospitals charge Rs 4,000-5,000 per PPE kit. Henceforth, we shall keep stock of PPE kits available for private hospitals to procure at Rs 800.”

He further informed that provision for RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 would be available at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) within 24 hours in case of urgency on payment of Rs 2200 from September 1.

It shall be provided free-of-cost within 24 hours for emergency cases of BPL category, he added.

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Meanwhile, the overall COVID-19 tally in the state has reached 92,619 with detection of 1879 new cases in the last 24 hours on August 24. The death toll has also risen to 252 with 10 COVID deaths confirmed on August 24.

As many as 73090 patients recovered from the disease in the state with 19274 others still undergoing treatment for the viral infection.

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