Hospitals to set up Covid-19 centres in two 5-star hotels in Mumbai

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has teamed up with private hospitals to set up Covid-19 care facilities in five star hotels in Mumbai.

Forty-two rooms in Hotel Trident (Bandra Kurla Complex) and Hotel Inter Continental (Marine Drive) have been requisitioned already and more facilities are being identified for the purpose.

These will serve as an extension of the private hospitals and will admit Covid-19 patients who no longer need emergency medical attention. Patients will be charged up to Rs 4,000 a day for bed and meals at the “step-down” facility in the hotels. Hospitals can also charge for medical expenses and doctor’s fee.

An official at Trident didn’t respond to an email seeking comments. Hotels fear the move will further hit their business. “While we don’t have any reservations on hosting patients who've turned negative or are recuperating, hosting Covid positive patients will adversely impact our business, which anyways has been hit hard. No one will like to check into a hotel that has Covid patients,” said an executive at a five star hotel chain. “But if we are forced to, we have no choice but to comply."

The decision to double hotels into Covid-19 care centres and open up additional facilities has been taken by the BMC as the city sees a surge in infection. Jaslok Hospital in the city has been made a dedicated Covid-19 care facility and this will make available 250 additional beds. Mumbai has over 86,000 active Covid-19 cases.

A few other hotels are already functioning as quarantine centres for asymptomatic patients. Separate floors are being reserved for such patients while the hotel continues to accept other guests.

“It is observed that many beds in private hospitals are occupied by patients who do not require emergency medical intervention, such patients can be effectively and adequately managed at isolation facilities such as covid care centres or step-down facilities. If such patients are shifted to a step-down facility where minimum medical intervention is required, more number of precious oxygenated, ICU and ventilator beds will be available to patients in need of them,” municipal commissioner I S Chahal said in the guidelines.

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