Mumbai, May 29 -- Hospitalizations in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, even if a patient has not contracted the virus, may add thousands of rupees in out-of-pocket expenses as insurers are unwilling to cover the costs of personal protective gear as they fall in the list of non-payable items.

Patients could end up spending as much as a fourth of their hospital bills on personal protective equipment (PPE) during an extended hospitalization, according to some experts.

The highly contagious nature of the virus and the severity of the outbreak has forced hospitals to make it mandatory for health workers to wear protective gear, including body suits and face shields, adding to the costs of patients, as well as hospitals.

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