Panaji, Sep 15 (IANS) Goa is facing a shortage of high flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) machines, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday even as 25 persons died due to Covid-19 in the last 48 hours.
Sawant said that the state Health Ministry had earlier focussed on purchasing ventilators for treating Covid-19 patients, but now HFNO machines appeared critical for the survival of symptomatic novel coronavirus patients.
"At present we have excess ventilators and there is a shortage of HFNO machines. Across the country there is a shortage of these machines. In three days, 20-25 more machines will be delivered. Initially, we thought that ventilators would be needed, but within a month or so the (strategy) changed and now HFNO machines are in demand," Sawant said.
Sawant also said that the state government had now capped fees for treatment of Covid-19 patients in private hospitals.
"Private hospitals were charging high rates to the tune of up to Rs 25,000 per night. We have decided these capped rates in consultation with the medical professionals and the private facilities," Sawant said.
Currently, a private hospital can charge up to Rs 12,000 per day for treatment in a general ward, Rs 15,000 for a twin sharing room, Rs 18,000 per day for a private room facility, with prices for ICU facilities capped at Rs 25,000 per day.
The capped price package includes bed charges, nursing, resident doctor fees, diet, PPE kits for staff and routine medicine.
Sawant, who is currently in home isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, also said that he would be donating blood plasma if he is eligible to do so.
"First let me complete 28 days of recovery. But of course, if I am within the parameters, I plan to donate plasma. I do have a (blood) pressure problem, but if I am eligible to donate, I will donate," Sawant said.