Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced that all citizens will be covered under the state government's health scheme, and Maharashtra will be the first State to provide free and cashless insurance protection to its people.
Tope said 85 per cent of the State's population was covered under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) at present and the cover will be extended to the remaining 15 per cent.
A memorandum was signed to include government, semi-government employees and white ration cardholders in the scheme in a bid to prevent private hospitals from overcharging patients.
"The government has signed an MoU with the General Insurance Public Sector Association (GIPSA) for treatment of COVID-19 patients at private hospitals in Pune and Mumbai," he said.
Similarly, different packages will be designed for all diseases, to standardise treatment fees at all hospitals, the minister said.
Earlier, 496 hospitals were covered in the scheme, but now over 1,000 hospitals will come under it, he said.
As per the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Act, the state government has capped the fees of COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals, the minister said.
Hospitals that don't have tie-ups with the GIPSA will also have to standardise their treatment fees, he added.
1008 new cases reported, highest in a single day
Maharashtra on Friday reported the greatest spike in COVID-19 cases with 1008 new cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The state tally is now 11,506. Also, 26 patients died on Friday due to COVID-19 taking the total to 485.
As per the State health department, there were 26 COVID-related deaths in the State on Friday.
Out of these, ten deaths were recorded in Pune city, 5 in Mumbai and 3 in Jalgaon district. One each was recorded at Pune district, Sindhudurg, Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation, Thane Municipal Corporation, Nanded, Aurangabad Municipal Corporation and in Parbhani.
Out of 1,53,125 laboratory samples, 1,40,587 were negative, and 11,506 have been tested positive for COVID-19 until Friday.
As per Pune Divisional Commissioner, Dr Deepak Mhaisekar, 81 new cases were reported in Pune division with a total of 1,986.
"In the Pune division 109 deaths are reported, and 77 are critical till Friday. Pune district has 1,783 cases, and so far 99 people have died due to COVID-19 in the district. Satara so far has reported 52 cases and two deaths. Solapur has reported 106 cases and six deaths. Sangli has reported 31 cases and one death. And Kolhapur has reported 14 cases and one death so far," said Mhaisekar.