The NTPC has shot off a missive to the Bihar government complaining about the reluctance of private hospitals in state capital to admit patients testing positive for, or showing symptoms of, COVID-19, and sought intervention in the matter.
A letter to this effect, addressed to the Principal Secretary (Health), was written on July 3 by the state-run power giants Regional Executive Director (East II) Asit Kumar Mukherjee.
According to NTPC spokesman Vishwanath Chandan, till date, five family members of employees of the company stationed across Bihar have tested positive for the coronavirus.
In his letter, Mukherjee has pointed out the fact that altogether "15,000 people", including NTPC employees, their dependent family members and CISF personnel deployed for security requirements are provided health cover by the company which has empanelled all the leading private hospitals in Patna and other districts.
"At present, private hospitals in Patna are not providing treatment to patients having COVID-19 symptoms, though those in other states have been doing so", Mukherjee lamented.
The senior NTPC official pointed out that the company was generating "8250 MW" of electricity in the state, which accounted for "around 70 per cent of power consumption in Bihar".
"Your kind intervention is solicited for issuing necessary direction to private hospitals..this will give confidence to our employees, involved in maintaining the essential service round the clock", Mukherjee added.
Notably, the reluctance of private health care facilities to chip in during the pandemic has drawn the ire of the government in the recent past.
In April, a circular was issued by the Principal Secretary (Health) warning private hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostic centres whereby these were warned of penal action if found shut or refusing admission to patients.