The Delhi health department has formed a four-member committee to make recommendations on reducing the number of Covid-dedicated beds in hospitals. The move comes after several requests were made by hospitals and institutes to restart non-Covid services against the backdrop of a drop in cases.
The order has been issued by Principal Health Secretary Vikram Dev Dutt. The team comprises Udit Rai Prakash, special secretary of department of health and family welfare; Dr Nutan Mundeja, Director General of Health Services; Dr Suneet Kaur from the National Centre for Disease Control; and Dr Anant Mohan, professor and head of department of pulmonary medicine, critical care and sleep medicine at AIIMS.
As per the Delhi government’s Corona App, of the 18,779 beds earmarked for Covid-19 patients, 15,965 (85%) are vacant.
The team will submit its recommendations by December 23, after assessing trends in hospital admission/discharge, and recommend graded de-escalation of Covid-dedicated beds. It will also suggest if ICU and critical care beds be part of the process. This is “to ensure that capacity de-escalation recommendations strike a harmonious balance between regional and location access across all categories of hospitals and the need to have a buffer capacity for patients from neighbouring states”, the order states.
For the second consecutive day Tuesday, the city saw less than 1,000 daily cases with 939 new cases being recorded. The death toll reached 10,329 with 25 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.14% with 82,386 tests conducted in the past day.
At Lok Nayak, the largest Covid-only hospital under the Delhi government, there are 165 beds occupied of 2,010.
Meanwhile, resident doctors and undergraduate students from Maulana Azad Medical College and associated hospitals have been protesting outside the office of the director demanding that authorities restart non-Covid services and reopen the college for students. “Our delegation held a meeting with Special Secretary, Health, Tuesday, where we were informed that a high-level panel has been formed to look into the decision. However, we have not been given any written assurance on the timeline, so we will continue the silent protest,” said Dr Keshave Singh, president, MAMC resident doctors’ association.
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