Mumbai: In a significant development, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government on Thursday night took control of over 80 per cent of beds across all private hospitals till August 31, as the COVID-19 cases in the state shot up to over 40,000. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: CM Thackeray 'Thanks' Railways Minister, Allows Doorsetep Delivery of Newspapers

Further, the state government also capped the price of COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals. The fee regulation decision applies to both isolation and non-isolation beds in private and charitable hospitals. Also Read - Maharashtra's 'Mission Begin Again': Lockdown in State Till June 30, Shops to Open on 'Odd-Even' Basis From June 5

This means 80 per cent of beds in isolation and non- isolation wards available with any healthcare provider will be regulated by the state government/municipal commissioner/ district collector. Also Read - Maharashtra's Guidelines For Govt Employees: Thermal Screening Before Entering Offices, 3 Ply Mask Must

This came as people complained of exorbitant rates being charged by hospitals for the treatment. Notably, the hosiptals can charge their own rates in the rest 20 per cent beds.

The order came into effect last night under the Epidemic Diseases Act, following negotiations with private hospitals.

There will be no difference in quality of treatment in 80 per cent and 20 per cent categories, the guidelines said.

For COVID-19 patients, there will be three rate slabs on per day basis – Rs 4,000, Rs7,500 and Rs 9,000 – based on the category of wards they have been admitted in, said the notification.

For non-COVID patients, hospitals which have agreements with insurance companies will follow the rate of lowest slab irrespective of the category of beds occupied by the patient, it said.

If there is no agreement between the two sides, hospitals will follow slab-wise rates depending on beds in hospitals, the notification said.