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Covid-19: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal says hospital bed crisis ‘under control now’

While expressing satisfaction with the number of beds available, the CM underlined that more ICU beds are likely to be needed in the coming days. He said there will be more ICU beds at the LNJP, GTB and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in the coming days.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | Published: June 26, 2020 5:26:03 pm
coronavirus, coronavirus covid-19, coronavirus news, delhi coronavirus news, delhi corona, delhi coronavirus updates, arvind kejriwal, delhi hospitals, delhi corona hospitals Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal inaugurates the video call facility for Covid patients at the LNJP hospital in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal/25/06/2020)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said there is adequate availability of beds for Covid-19 patients in the capital and claimed that the situation has been brought “under control” by attaching hotels with hospitals. The fact that most patients are showing mild symptoms that do not require hospitalisation is also encouraging, he said.

“Over the last one week, the daily average of beds occupied in hospitals has remained around 6000. Over 3000 new cases are being registered everyday, but not many are requiring hospitalisation. In Delhi, people infected with the virus are showing mild symptoms,” Kejriwal said, addressing a webcast.

At present, out of 13240 beds for Covid patients across five state government-run, five Centre-run and 116 private hospitals in the city, 6100 are occupied, according to the coronavirus dashboard. At the five hospitals under the Delhi government, 1424 out of 4119 beds are occupied; 1094 out of 2022 beds at five Centre-run hospitals are full; 3582 out of 7099 beds at 116 private health facilities are taken. The capacity of many private hospitals has risen on account of them being attached with hotels that are serving as extensions.

The Delhi cabinet also gave necessary approvals to operationalise another government hospital at Burari with 450 beds.

While expressing satisfaction with the number of beds available, the CM underlined that more ICU beds are likely to be needed in the coming days. There are currently 744 ICU/ventilator beds in Delhi, out of which 167 are in four Delhi government hospitals, 185 in five hospitals under the Centre and 392 in 74 private hospitals. At the state government hospitals, 118 such beds are occupied, 111 at Centre’s hospitals and 268 at the private ones.

“We are also creating ICU beds. We are not sitting idle. Over 3500 beds have been laid at hotels attached to hospitals over the last 10 days, which is why the number of beds has increased. More banquet halls are being prepared. We are preparing for tomorrow, for the day after. There was a shortage of beds during the first week of June. I used to attend calls throughout the night, trying to arrange beds for people. The situation is under control now,” Kejriwal said.

There will be more ICU beds at the LNJP, GTB and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in the coming days, he added.

After its decision to reserve hospital beds for residents of the city was struck down, the Delhi government had projected that the city will require at least 15,000 beds by June 30, 33,000 by July 15, and 80,000 by July 31.

Under the next phase of augmentation of beds, around 2000 beds, being readied by the ITBP at the campus of Radha Soami Satsang Beas in south Delhi’s Bhati Mines, will be pressed into service with the assistance of ITBP personnel. Another 1000 bed facilities, including 250 ICU beds, are also being prepared by the DRDO and Tata Trust, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced on June 23.

Kejriwal said the city is recording above 3000 cases almost everyday as more tests are being conducted. “When we were carrying out 5000 to 6000 tests in the city, around 2000-2500 positive cases used to come up. Now that, 18000 to 20000 tests are getting conducted, cases are naturally on the rise,” he said.

Delhi has had 73780 cases till June 25, of which 44765 come under the recovered/discharged/migrated category, while the toll stands at 2429. Of the 26586 active cases, 15159 are under home isolation, 1585 at Covid care centres, 211 at health centres and rest at hospitals.

According to data sourced from the Health Department, the number tests carried out on June 15, June 16, June 17 were 5824, 6510, 8452, respectively. With the start of rapid antigen tests across the city on June 18, the testing figures also rose.

Accordingly, there were 12389 tests in Delhi on June 18, 16443 on June 19, 16670 on June 20, 13800 on June 21, 14882 on June 22 and 16929 on June 23, according to data shared by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme under the Delhi government.

The CM said the government has managed to provide all patients under home isolation with oximeters to help them monitor their oxygen saturation levels. “The ideal saturation level is 95 per cent. Anything below 90 is considered dangerous and severe if concentration drops below 85. People have been provided with oximeters so that they can call us if levels dip below 95. The government will arrange oxygen cylinders for them and shift to hospitals if required,” he said.

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