Fortis Healthcare has rolled out a three-tier structure to battle COVID-19 or commonly known as coronavirus. "We are currently treating 27 active cases of COVID-19 with a few successfully treated and over 80 suspected cases," Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, Head, Fortis said in an interaction with CNBCTV-18.
The hospital has set up isolation wards in all of its 28 hospitals across the country and a total of 262 isolation beds have been earmarked to treat COVID-19 patients.
Fortis has also started testing COVID-19 samples via its diagnostics arm SRL Diagnostics. The hospital said they have the ability to scale up beds if required and currently have a provision of 500 ventilators across the network
"When it comes to charging patients, we are following protocols. For example, in Mumbai, there is a cap on charges per day for treatment of a COVID-19 patient," Fortis said in a statement.
The other point of debate has been the usage of antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine along with antibiotic Azithromycin. The drug is being provided as a preventive to many healthcare workers.
Commenting on the safety of the drug, Dr Raghuvanshi said Fortis is following the ICMR protocols laid out on the usage of the drugs. He agreed there is a debate in the medical community on the safety of the drug. He further added that tested drugs must be used in the correct dosage.
On testing of COVID-19 patients via SRL Diagnostics, Raghuvanshi said the chain has the ability to do 1,000 tests per day and can scale up if necessary.
"Factors such as protective gear, however, remains a challenge but the government is currently trying to address that issue," he said.
Hospitals have reported an up to 30-40 percent drop in occupancies due to lack of medical tourism, halt in elective surgeries and out patient departments. Emergency services however are functioning for hospitals. Raghuvanshi added that COVID-19 is going to have a cascading impact due to these factors.
Routine procedures, he mentioned, are getting impacted and postponed by 1 to 3 months. "This is something that should be considered. However, the emergency services are functioning normally and the hospital is well staffed," he further said.