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14 top private hospitals in Delhi turn Covid-only facilities

The hospitals include Indraprastha Apollo, Sir Ganga Ram, Holy Family, Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh and Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: April 13, 2021 11:37:59 am
14 top private hospitals in Delhi turn Covid-only facilitiesPeople take Covid-19 vaccination shot at a hospital in New Delhi on Monday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

On a day the capital recorded a new high of 11,491 infections — and 72 deaths — the Delhi government issued an order to convert 14 top private hospitals in the city into Covid-only facilities.

A total 3,202 beds in wards and 1,135 ICU beds in these hospitals will now be dedicated entirely to the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The order comes into effect immediately.

The 14 hospitals include Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Sarita Vihar, and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which have 553 and 527 ward beds and 165 and 148 ICU beds respectively; and Holy Family Hospital, Okhla; Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh; Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh; and Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, Saket.

“Fourteen private hospitals declared fully Covid. In other hospitals beds increased from 50% to 60%. Total 2,060 beds increased in private hospitals,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain tweeted.

The order was issued hours after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met with top officials to review the Covid-19 situation in Delhi. The meeting decided to augment the number of beds in both the private and government sectors.

Apart from converting 14 hospitals into full Covid facilities, the government has also reserved 60% of the total ward capacity in 101 private hospitals – adding up to 5,689 general beds – for Covid-19 treatment.

“In order to augment the bed capacity for Covid-19 patients in view of the unprecedented surge of Covid-19 cases in the last few days, 14 private hospitals are declared as full Covid hospitals and are directed that henceforth these hospitals shall not admit any non-Covid medical/surgical patients till further notice. Further, 101 private hospitals are directed to reserve 60% of their total ward bed capacity for Covid-related treatment,” the state Health Department said in its order.

This is the third such order issued over the last two weeks. On March 31, the Delhi government had added 230 ICU beds and 842 general beds in 33 private hospitals after the daily caseload started rising.

Then, on April 5, the government ordered 54 private hospitals and 11 Delhi government hospitals to increase the numbers of general and ICU beds for Covid patients.

“It was observed that as on April 12, the occupancy rate of Covid ICU beds has crossed more than 85% in 57 out of 115 private hospitals and has reached 100% in almost all of the large private hospitals. Similarly, the occupancy of Covid ward beds has crossed more than 85% in 32 out of 115 private hospitals and has reached 100%in majority of the large private hospitals,” Monday’s order said.

Nineteen private hospitals have been directed to reserve 80% of their ICU beds for Covid patients; another 82 private hospitals have been asked to reserve 60% of their ICU beds – adding up to a total 1,398 ICU beds in these 101 private hospitals.

Four Delhi government hospitals – Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, Deep Chand Bandhu, Burari Hospital, and Ambedkar Nagar Hospital – have been made Covid-only facilities. Two – Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Baba Saheb Ambedkar – will earmark 50% of their total bed capacity for Covid-19 patients. A total of 593 general beds have been added to the existing strength in these hospitals.

Delhi government data show 12,008 beds are currently dedicated for Covid-19 patients, out of which 6,940 (58%) are occupied.

On Monday, both Kejriwal and Jain said the Delhi government has written to the Centre again asking for a scaling-up of Covid beds in hospitals under its control.

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