Ahmedabad private clinics to be told to reopen or face action

(Eds: Updates with details) Ahmedabad, May 6 (PTI) The Ahmedabad civic body will issue notices to private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, asking them to reopen within 48 hours or lose their licence, an official said on Wednesday.

Most of the private clinics and hospitals in the city have closed down after the lockdown was imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has also decided to designate nine private hospitals, with aggregate capacity of 1,000 beds, as COVID hospitals under the Epidemic Diseases Act, he said.

The AMC will also identify hotels of 3-star and lower grades with a minimum 50 AC rooms for COVID care centres with 500 beds in each zone as part of a strategy to deal with the rising cases of coronavirus, said Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who was on Tuesday appointed to monitor works related to coronavirus in the city.

'Private clinics/nursing homes/hospitals to be issued notices to open their clinics within 48 hours and be notified that they will lose their licences otherwise.

'Doctors not opening their clinics will be asked to take care of patients at COVID care centres or asymptomatic patients at home,' Gupta said in a statement.

The statement was issued after the AMC held a meetingto devise strategies for various measures to tackle the rising cases of COVID-19 within the AMC limit.

Repeated requests by the government to reopen private medical facilities have not yielded any positive result.

AMC officials have been tasked with preparing ward- wise coronavirus containment strategy for all 48 wards in the city, including testing strategy, implementation of lockdown and health infrastructure, among others, he said.

With an estimated 2000 'super spreaders' in each zone, the AMC has set a target to screen 500 such persons and suspected 'super spreaders' on a daily basis by next Wednesday, Gupta said.

The AMC has also decided to distribute two lakh COVID-19 care kits, each having four soaps, as many washable masks, ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines, in slums and localities with low-income population, he said in the release.

Gupta was on Tuesday appointed for supervision, monitoring and coordination of works related to coronavirus in the city, which has so far reported 4,735 cases and 298 deaths.

His appointment was made after Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra was home quarantined for two weeks after coming in contact with a coronavirus patient. PTI KA PD RSY RSY