April 21, 2021 11:05:27 am
The Delhi High Court has told the centre to urgently look towards allocating more beds for Covid-19 patients in hospitals under its control in the national capital.
The court’s observations came after the Delhi government informed it that the number of beds made available at present by the centre in the hospitals run by it is only 50 percent of what was available last year in November.
The union government told the court that the beds are currently occupied by non-COVID patients who also require critical care but their endeavour is to increase the beds for COVID patients.
The Delhi government has been raising the issue of beds in Centre-run hospitals for several days now, requesting that around 7,000 beds out of close to 10,000 be reserved for Covid patients in the capital.
At present, there are 19,749 beds in hospitals in Delhi, of which 2,421 are vacant. Of these, only 26 are ICU beds.
The court also said the Centre and its agencies need to address the issues with regard to ramping up of RT-PCR facilitates. It said the equipment for setting up the labs for RT-PCR testing are imported but the orders for such machines are “routinely dealt” with at the ports. Observing that all such equipment that is imported should be cleared on top priority, the court directed the centre to issue necessary directions in this regard.
The court also said the procedure for setting up a COVID-testing facility is highly time-consuming and directed the Centre to give top priority for such clearance so that more RT-PCR labs could be set up or expanded without any delay. However, the court also said that it does not wish to impinge upon the authority of ICMR and does not expect it to relax the standards.
With regard to the delay in preparing the results of COVID-19 tests, the court said it is informed that the testing agencies are required to fill up detailed forms with a person’s details online, which take up to 15 minutes. It directed the Centre and ICMR to review the form in which information is required to be uploaded so as to reduce their burden and wastage of time.
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