The West Bengal government has urged authorities of private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients in the state to increase the number of beds in order to tackle the recent spurt in infections, a senior official said on Wednesday.
A meeting in this regard with the chief secretary is likely to be held at the state secretariat on Thursday.
A communication from the health department was sent to 53 private hospitals treating COVID-19 cases in the state to make provisions for more beds to accommodate coronavirus patients.
Some private hospitals in the city said infrastructural gaps were making it difficult to increase beds for COVID-19 patients.
"You cannot have COVID-19 wards in buildings which are having a central air conditioning system; for that we need to have a separate set up, following the guidelines of ICMR. So, there are some infrastructural hindrances at the moment," an official of a private hospital in Salt Lake said.
Another private hospital official in Howrah said a separate building will be required to admit more COVID-19 patients.
"Hopefully, tomorrow's meeting will help us come out with a solution. We will put forth our suggestions," the official of a private hospital in the southern part of the city said.
A senior official said state government hospitals have ample beds to accommodate coronavirus patients in the city and in the districts. "But, there are people who opt for private hospitals, so we have urged them to increase their beds."
There are 77 COVID-19 hospitals in West Bengal, of which 53 are privately run.
West Bengal has a total of 5,386 active cases at present.