Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested the Union government to provide 1,092 beds, including 300 ICU beds, to help the capital tackle the surge in coronavirus cases, which are projected to climb to nearly 12,000 per day by the end of November.
In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Kejriwal, citing the report of an expert group, said the city will require 20,604 beds to deal with the situation for which hospitals under the Centre as well as the state will have to augment capacity.
“The Report-III of the Empowered Group-1 that covers… September-November 2020 has projected the worst case scenario of roughly 11,909 cases per day in Delhi by end November/early December 2020 for which a capacity of 20,604 Covid beds is required to be kept ready,” wrote Kejriwal.
The CM said that presently Delhi has a total bed capacity of 15,713 for Covid patients. The figure includes ICU and non-ICU beds at Central government hospitals “which have been of great help in tiding over the first and second surges during the months of June and September, 2020, respectively,” he added.
A National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) committee had in October warned that Delhi needs to be prepared to handle up to 15,000 cases per day during the winter due to pollution, festive gatherings and weddings. The NCDC observations also found mention in the CM’s letter.
“The shortfall of around 4,900 beds, as per the projection of the Report-III of the Empowered Group, will have to be met by augmentation in both the Central government and state government hospitals apart from leveraging private sector capacities.
“Further augmentation of NIV (non-invasive ventilator) beds for Covid patients is critical in the current context and also the key to containing any increase in mortality going forward. As per information obtained from different Central government hospitals in Delhi, it has been observed that a capacity augmentation of around 1,092 beds has been proposed by central government hospitals,” Kejriwal wrote to Vardhan on November 7.
He also pointed out that the augmentation of bed capacity will have to be supplemented by deploying additional healthcare staff. “This issue has already been taken up by the Chief Secretary, Delhi, with the Union Health Secretary,” he said.
“I request you to issue necessary directions to the concerned authorities to ensure that the above steps to provide at least 1,092 additional beds, including 300 ICU beds, with manpower are taken on priority…,” Kejriwal added.
On Sunday, Delhi registered 7,830 cases in the biggest single-day spike, a positivity rate of 13.26 per cent, and 83 deaths. The total number of cases stands at 4,51,382, out of which 41,385 are active.
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