Pune: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has granted permission to six private hotels to convert their facilities into COVID Care Centres. These private facilities are charging upto two thousand rupees per person per day for providing quarantine or isolation room facilities. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is also thinking of implanting such initiative on public-private partnership basis.
A private COVID Care Centre operator in Wakad said, "We are charging Rs 2,000 per person per day for the quarantine facility. If two or more members of the family are to be quarantined at the same facility, then they are charged Rs 2,800 or Rs 3,000 per person per day. These charges include tea, breakfast, and lunch for two times a day along with internet connection, hot water supply, television and other entertainment facilities. Discounts are also offered if booking is made for a seven days or 14 days package."
Another centre operator said, "We ensure that all rooms are sanitised every day. Only patients who are stamped for home quarantine or those who can produce a COVID-19 positive test report are given entry in the centre. A letter from a doctor is also made mandatory for admission. The patient has to coordinate with his doctor regularly and take medicines as prescribed by his doctors."
The municipal corporations have asked hotels to remain shut during the lockdown which was extended by the central and state government up to July 31. Since these properties were closed and losses were being incurred pertaining to maintenance and salaries of employees, the owners of these properties requested permission to PCMC to start privately managed COVID Care Centres. This was of dual benefit. PCMC was facing a shortage of beds as the number of COVID-19 positive cases rose in the city. Patients were also facing hardships in finding hospital beds and good quarantine facilities near their home. The privately managed COVID Care Centres have solved both problems. However, the PCMC while granting permission to these hotels, have asked them to abide by its guidelines and norms.
Dr Avinash Bhondve, President of Indian Medical Association (Maharashtra) said, "Efforts are being taken to start private COVID Care Centres. It is a welcome initiative. The municipal corporations will need to augment their hospital beds capacity. The number of doctors and medical staff will also have to be increased."
Dr Pavan Salve, Health Officer of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation said, "We have given permission to start COVID Care Centres in six private properties. They have to abide by the guidelines and norms set by the Municipal Corporation."
Rajendra Muthe, Deputy Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation said, "We are in talks with some organisations and trusts to start COVID Care Centres on a public-private partnership basis. The health department will soon take a decision regarding this proposal."