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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Delhi: Covid centres empty out as cases dip, some to wind up ops

While fresh admissions will not be allowed at these centres, medical equipment such as ventilators and oxygen cylinders will be stored for use in a possible third wave.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi |
Updated: June 28, 2021 9:18:48 am
At the 400-bed Covid facility at Rakab Ganj Gurdwara, officials said there are only 8 patients left. (Express Archive)

With Covid cases dipping in the city, only a handful of patients remain at temporary Covid care centres. While fresh admissions will not be allowed at these centres, medical equipment such as ventilators and oxygen cylinders will be stored for use in a possible third wave.

According to the Delhi Corona App, nearly all Covid oxygen beds, ICU beds, and ventilators are vacant. On Sunday, 89 new Covid cases were reported in Delhi. Out of the total 27,284 hospital beds reserved for Covid treatment, including the ones at makeshift Covid centres, 1,037 beds are occupied currently.

At the Radha Soami Satsang Beas centre in South Delhi, there are no Covid patients at the moment. The centre was started last year, with a capacity for 10,000 beds, and was operated by the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). While it closed in February, the sharp spike in cases in April led to the centre being reopened again with 100 beds, which were later increased.

An ITBP spokesperson said on Friday that the centre is empty now: “We plan on shutting down the place but are awaiting orders. We will have to be ready for the third wave so we might keep this place open.”

The centre is currently not admitting new patients.

At the 400-bed Covid facility at Rakab Ganj Gurdwara, which was started in May, officials said there are only eight patients left.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, “We have now six-eight Covid patients at the centre. Most have recovered and will be discharged soon. Once all beds are vacant, we will close the centre. However, our committee members will store medical equipment in case of a third wave.”

In North Delhi’s Burari, where at least 1,000 beds were set up at the Sant Nirankari Covid Care Centre, only five patients are admitted now, and the organisation will soon close the centre.

At Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital in Delhi Cantt, a makeshift Covid centre was set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in April, there are no Covid patients now. The centre had set aside 500 beds.

“We are closing the centre. It’s been around two weeks and we have had no fresh admissions. We will reopen the place if the Covid caseload increases during the third wave,” said a doctor. The centre was run by at least 50 officials and doctors from Armed Forces Medical Service (AFMS) and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

At Delhi government’s Burari hospital, where at least 700 beds were provided for Covid treatment during the second wave, doctors said they have now started reserving beds for non-Covid patients.

“Earlier, other wards were shut due to Covid caseload but we are now reopening emergency services. The Covid ward has only 6-7 patients,” said a hospital official.

Guru Nanak Eye Centre too, which had set up a 198-bed Covid facility during the second wave, has closed the ward. Officials said beds have been empty for close to three weeks.

“We ordered oxygen cylinders last month for Covid patients but don’t have anyone now. Patients will now be referred to Lok Nayak or GTB hospitals from here. We will be resuming other services soon,” said an official.

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