TNM had on Sunday published a story on how the private hospitals were running out of beds and facilities like ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients in the state.

C Vijayabaskar minister speaking to doctorsTwitter/C Vijayabaskar
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, June 09, 2020 - 19:19

The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday announced via a press release that all private medical college hospitals and private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients in the state should appoint a Nodal Officer to regularly update the number of COVID-19 beds available in their hospitals on the government’s website.

The Nodal Officer from each hospital will have to regularly update, with transparency, the total number of beds and details of facilities available in the hospital, total beds occupied by in-patients and number of beds available in the hospital on the website. The site presently lists 104 hospitals across the state that have beds designated for COVID-19 patients.

The announcement was made after Minister of Health and Family Welfare C Vijayabaskar held a meeting with over 400 private college hospitals and directors of private hospitals across the state via a video call on Monday.

TNM had on Sunday published a story on how private hospitals were running out of beds and facilities like ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients in the state and how this was a looming problem the government needed to address urgently.

Read our story here: Chennai's pvt hospitals are running out of beds – and the govt has no clear plan

The press release states that this decision has been arrived at to assist people in times of emergency and also to allay their fears during the time of this big disaster. The note also adds that all private college hospitals and private hospitals that participated in the meeting agreed to comply.

On Tuesday, while addressing the press after inaugurating a COVID-19 ward in Kings Institute, Guindy with 500-bedded capacity, Minister Vijayabaskar said that people under the Chief Minster’s health insurance scheme can apply for insurance claims at these private hospitals.

Tamil Nadu presently has 167 Dedicated COVID Hospitals (DCH) that includes both private and public establishments. DCH is for clinically assigned severe cases of COVID-19. These hospitals should be equipped with Intensive Care Units (ICUs), ventilators and beds with assured oxygen support. Additionally, the state has 105 Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC), for treating clinically assigned moderate cases and 69 Dedicated COVID Care Centre (DCCC) for attending to very mild or suspected COVID-19 cases.

During his press meet on Monday, Minister C Vijayabaskar said that the state had 75,000 beds in all to treat COVID-19 patients of which 5,000 were in Chennai. He also warned action against former television newsreader ‘TV’ Varadharajan for his video message in which he had said that there were no beds available to treat COVID-19 patients in the city of Chennai. Following this, on Tuesday, Chennai police booked him under the sections of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987.

In his first video, Varadharajan had shared what his close friend’s family experienced when his friend developed COVID-19 symptoms suddenly. “No hospitals in Chennai – the big hospitals, government hospitals – none of them had beds,” he said in his video message and requested people to not venture out unnecessarily. This video went viral with many concurring with Varadharajan’s points.  

In his second video, published soon after the controversy his first one kicked up, Varadharajan expressed his gratitude to the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers on the field and also added that the government was doing all it can to contain the spread of this novel coronavirus disease.