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Coronavirus report takes 2 to 7 days in Mumbai: Doctors

Maharashtra: Coronavirus report takes 2 to 7 days in Mumbai, say doctors

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India's financial capital, Mumbai, is worst affected by COVID-19 and what is alarming that it takes two to seven days to get the test report.

To highlight the concerns, the Association of Medical Consultants Mumbai (AMC-M), has shot off a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases, deaths on May 11

"The Turn Around Time (TAT) for a COVID-19 report has been from two to seven days. This has resulted in the immense delay in the initiation of treatment as well as the discharge of COVID patients leading to problems," AMC-M president Dr Deepak Baid and honorary secretary Dr Nilima Vidya-Bhamsre said in the letter to the Chief Minister, copies of which were marked to the municipal commissioners of Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

They said that COVID-19 patients have had to move from hospital to hospital due to lack of information about beds in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. The centralised government system needs to be revamped to display bed availability in realtime.

"In spite of government directives, hospitals dealing with non-coronavirus patients have often been wrongly sealed for 14 days by local health authorities. Protocols of quarantining and testing of staff have not been uniformly followed by local health authorities," the AMC-M letter states.

CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL COVERAGE ONLY ON DH

The doctors' body also pointed out that the implementation of various government guidelines are not uniformly followed by the concerned authorities like protocol of admission/discharge of COVID-19 patients.

"Our members have been in the forefront in this pandemic. They are actively involved in the care of both COVID as well as non-COVID patients. We are coordinating with the local authorities to ensure that healthcare is accessible to all. We have been involved in screening and in fever clinics. Our doctors are involved in treatment of coronavirus patients. Our member doctors are part of the task force and are helping direct the treatment protocols. While we have always been in the forefront in treating the patients, we find that our members have been facing multiple issues which have not been adequately addressed by the authorities," the letter stated.

There has been the influx of patients leading to the stretching of the already inadequate healthcare resources.

The private hospitals have played a pivotal role in tiding over this crisis but even their resources are being strained. "Unless the government controls the spread of the disease, the healthcare infrastructure will be further challenged," the AMC-M states.

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It stated that the acquisition of healthcare personnel and establishments have been without uniform Memorandum of Understanding. While few hospitals have a predefined MOU, others have been acquired forcibly without any terms and conditions defined, creating a sense of insecurity, the letter states.

"While Uniform MOU towards healthcare personnel with their remuneration were defined in MMR, no such MOU exists in other Corporations. Many corporations have still not given appointment letters. Cash salaries were offered to the volunteers at many places," said Dr Baid and Dr Vidya-Bhamare.

They pointed out that high-end medicines towards the treatment of COVID-19 patients in public hospitals have been largely unavailable. The medicines and investigation (Inj Tocilizumab with IL6 testing) have been arranged through donations. The same has not been provided by the government.

They pointed out that PPE (personal protective equipment) kit which is necessary for the prevention of infection are uncertified and are largely inadequate in number and there were complaints from residents of KEM, Sion and Nair hospitals.

Till date government has not capped the costing towards N95 mask or the complete PPE Suite leading to exorbitant charges by the vendors.