As cases of coronavirus keep rising around the globe, hospitals are working over capacity to cure troves of patients, only to be hit with the next wave. Most countries are receiving aid or are funneling funds into healthcare, but how much do they need? Here’s what it costs to care for a COVID-19 patient.
The very first monetary hurdle - a test kit - is necessary to ascertain if someone has just a cold or the virus. A test costs about Rs. 4,500 - subsidised by the Indian government - and is free for people with an Ayushman Bharat card.
Treating a non-critical COVID-19 patient - without ventilators, an ICU - costs an estimated Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 per day.
An average patient is kept in the hospital for 14 days - the mandated quarantine period - which will end up costing Rs 2.8 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh
In the event that a ventilator is necessary, the bill goes up, by at least Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 per day.
A doctor treating COVID-19 patients will have to change his/her protection equipment frequently, another Rs 750 to Rs 1000 added per kit.
And of course, if patients recover fully, medicines - those cost another Rs 1,000 easily.
On top of all this, there’s all the maintenance costs - room rent at the hospital, food for patients, the cost of an ambulance to ferry suspected cases. All these put together are going to leave the government footing a huge bill at the end of this crisis.