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Delhi: 2 new ICU facilities near GTB, Lok Nayak open doors to patients

Both facilities, built on empty grounds near the hospitals, have 500 ICU beds each. Patients need to be referred from the hospitals — they first go to either GTB or Lok Nayak, and if the patient is critical and requires an ICU bed, they are sent to the ICU facility concerned.

On Saturday, ambulances came in every few hours at the facilities and the admission process was seamless.

Two new ICU facilities linked to Lok Nayak and GTB hospitals, which started operations last week, have started taking in patients. As of Saturday afternoon, 30 patients have been admitted to the facility near GTB that had opened on May 12. The Lok Nayak facility at Ramlila Maidan, which started on May 15, had 12 patients as of Friday evening.

Both facilities, built on empty grounds near the hospitals, have 500 ICU beds each. Patients need to be referred from the hospitals — they first go to either GTB or Lok Nayak, and if the patient is critical and requires an ICU bed, they are sent to the ICU facility concerned. On Saturday, ambulances came in every few hours at the facilities and the admission process was seamless.

On Friday evening, Jyotsna Walia got her 33-year-old brother admitted to the Lok Nayak facility. They first went to the hospital in their private vehicle, where they were told to check the new facility. Upon reaching, her brother was taken in immediately and the family was relieved they didn’t have to wait long. “Staff did not ask for any documents. They saw that his O2 was low and took him in immediately,” said Jyotsna. Her brother’s oxygen levels were as low as 52% at the time.

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The family said they could not get an RT-PCR test done because of long lines at the labs but had his CT scan reports instead. Guards at the facility, meanwhile, said patients should ideally be referred from Lok Nayak.

Inside the facility are two hangars with 250 beds each, a kitchen and a pharmacy. One of the two hangars has started functioning. A help desk has been set up at the entrance of the facility.

After assessing the facility on May 14, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told the media, “250 ICU beds linked to Lok Nayak Hospital are starting from today, and another 250 beds will become operational in 1-2 days. A total of 500 ICU beds are starting here. This facility has been prepared in just 15 days.”

He added, “You might remember that I visited this space 15 days ago. Our doctors, paramedic staff, engineers and workers worked day and night on a war-footing and mission mode to construct this 500-bed ICU facility. I visited the GTB Hospital the day before, where another 500 ICU beds have been set up. This makes it a total of 1,000 ICU beds added to the bed count in Delhi. Around 200 ICU beds are being prepared at the Radha Soami Covid facility in Chhatarpur, which means that a total of 1,200 ICU beds will be added in Delhi in the next 1-2 days.”

The GTB facility has one big hangar, which houses 500 ICU beds. There are nursing units at regular intervals, where nurses and paramedic staff are stationed. When The Indian Express visited the facility on May 11, hundreds of non-invasive ventilators had arrived in boxes and around 15 of them had been set up. The facility, which was supposed to start functioning that day, opened the next day due to “unavoidable technical glitches”, Health Minister Satyendar Jain had tweeted.

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