District Magistrates have been directed by the Delhi government to identify multipurpose halls, banquet halls and indoor stadiums that can be used to set up beds for Covid patients, and scout for additional land for creating cremation and burial grounds in view of rising coronavirus cases in the city. The directions were conveyed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to all 11 DMs on Monday. They have been asked to respond by 4 pm on June 3, treating the directions on “top-most priority”.
The city recorded 990 fresh cases on Monday, taking the total number of cases to 20,834. The state health department updated 50 more deaths, with 12 being reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll in the city is 523.
“As you are aware that in view of increasing number of Covid-19 patients in Delhi, it is imperative to plan in advance for enhancing capacity of patient beds and also to identify additional cremation/burial grounds,” stated the communication signed by DDMA Additional CEO Rajesh Goyal.
Accordingly, the DMs will now have to identify indoor air-conditioned facilities — preferably large multipurpose halls, banquet halls or indoor stadiums — for putting up “extra beds” for patients. “Present locations of cremation/burial grounds as well as additionally identified locations/lands for cremation/burial grounds which are reasonably away from residential areas,” the circular added.
Out of the 19 hospitals treating Covid patients, five come under the Delhi government, four under the Centre, while 10 are private facilities. Currently, 2,748 patients are admitted in hospitals, and the administration plans to have 9,500 hospital beds for Covid cases by June 5.
Of the total patients at hospitals, about 71% are in government and around 28% in private hospitals. While 6,238 patients are under home isolation, others are admitted to Covid health and care centres.
In a letter to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA), meanwhile, expressed its reservation over the government’s order to earmark 20% beds for Covid patients in 117 private hospitals and nursing homes with 50 or more beds.
Several nursing homes have said they do not have separate entry and exit, which might put other patients at risk.
“The list of 117 hospitals released by the government has at least 34 hospitals functioning on land allotted by the state government on a charitable basis. These hospitals have a total of 8,849 beds and are capable of at least creating 1,800 dedicated Covid beds, with 20% bed strength. These hospitals have the capability to add ICU beds dedicated for Covid care and can be requested to increase these,” said Dr Ajay Bedi, secretary, DMA.
“Smaller nursing homes do not have facilities for severely ill patients. These nursing homes are located in residential areas and may turn into a hotspot while treating patients,” he added.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said smaller hospitals, which have been asked to set aside a few beds for Covid patients at their facilities, will have to follow directions: “They will have to make arrangements. Safdarjung Hospital, for instance, has around 2,500 beds in all. They have set aside around 250 beds for Covid patients. They have made arrangements. Several other hospitals have also made similar arrangements.”
The doubling rate in Delhi is almost 13 days and the recovery rate almost 42%. The national recovery rate is 48%. A total of 8,746 people have recovered/been discharged so far.
615 active cases in Gurgaon
Haryana witnessed its biggest single-day spike with 265 Covid cases in the last 24 hours. Gurgaon saw 129 cases, followed by 25 in Faridabad, 13 in Sonepat and 4 in Jhajjar. The state’s total count touched 2,356, including 1,280 active cases. The doubling rate of cases dipped to eight days; Covid positivity rate increased to 2.01%; and recovery rate further dipped to 44.78%.
As of Monday evening, Gurgaon had 615 active patients. The state government also permitted movement from Delhi on Monday. The government also decided that the odd-even formula of opening of shops shall be discontinued, and all shops will be allowed to open. “SOPs regarding opening of salons, weddings, etc will be issued soon. Home deliveries from restaurants, dhabas etc. will be permitted but delivery should be done before 9 pm,” said Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij.
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