Five private hospitals in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district have been acquired by the district authorities with immediate effect. The acquisition was done by the order of Bilwara District Collector under the Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases Act 1957.
According to the district administration order, the hospitals will be handed over to the Chief Medical Officer, Bhilwara district with immediate effect. Guest houses and resorts are also being acquired by the state government to prepare for an influx of patients in the event of an outbreak.
The five hospitals acquired by the district administration are Smt Kesarbai Soni Hospital, Shri Siddhi Vinayak Hospital, Ramsnehi Chikitsalaya, Keshav Porwal Hospital and Arihant Hospital. The hospitals have been taken along with buildings, medical equipment and staff.
Bhilwara has become the epicentre of Rajasthan's coronavirus outbreak after 14 cases reported from a private hospital in the city. The state's medical team is yet to find the source of infection in the first case.
Rajasthan has been under lockdown since March 22. The total number of positive cases in the state have risen to 43 after two positive cases, including one each in Jaipur and Jhunjhunu that have been found today.
The decision came hours after a 73-year-old man, who had tested positive for coronavirus and was in coma due to kidney failure, died in Bhilwara earlier today. The patient with chronic kidney and diabetes issues was admitted to a Bhilwara private hospital. Three doctors and nine nurses at the establishment later tested positive for coronavirus.
The local authorities, however, did not attribute death of the septuagenarian patient directly to coronavirus infection. "A death has occurred but the patient was in coma due to kidney failure and diabetes before coronavirus spread in Bhilwara. So, it would not be appropriate (to say) that he died of COVID-19 as the death occurred due to pre-existing diseases," Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh reportedly said.
On Monday, state health minister Raghu Sharma had confirmed that community transmission has started in Bhilwara and Jhunjhunu.