A committee of AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul Monday told the Delhi High Court that it is “advisable as well as infrastructurally feasible” to use two hotels — Hotel Suryaa in New Friends Colony and Hotel Crown Plaza at Okhla — as extended Covid facilities.
They disclosed the same in their report placed before Justice Navin Chawla, who, on June 11, had requested them to visit the hotels and give a report on the “advisability/feasibility” of the premises being used as extended Covid hospitals. The court had sought the report after the hotels challenged the Delhi government’s move to convert them into Covid facilities to augment existing hospital infrastructure.
The members, who took help from experts and interacted with representatives of the hotels, said “these hotels are ideally suitable for use as Covid care centres”.
The committee, in its report, said, “It is pertinent to note that Hotel Suryaa has three huge banquet halls which can easily accommodate approximately 50-60 patient beds, and a central lobby which can act as a central nursing station.”
“Similarly, Hotel Crown Plaza has one banquet hall which could accommodate approximately 25 patient beds. These banquet halls can be appropriately equipped and converted into dedicated Covid health centres…,” it added.
It also stated that “apart from clinical care, the attached hospital must ensure training of hotel staff in infection control practices, including donning/doffing process. The hospital must ensure availability of HCQ prophylaxis and appropriate PPE for all its healthcare workers and hotel staff on Covid duty…”
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Delhi government, submitted that the committee’s report is acceptable to the government and promised to take all steps before making the hotels operational.
The counsel for the hotels also submitted that they do not press for any order of interim injunction against the Delhi government, and would cooperate. They, however, have expressed certain concerns regarding the compensation payable, timely payment of the same, supply of PPE kits, staff availability, etc.
Taking note of which, Justice Chawla, in his order, said: “The petitioners (the two hotels) shall be at liberty to file representatio-n(s)…with the government of NCT of Delhi, which shall…communicate its decision…within four weeks… List on July 29, 2020.”
On May 29, the government asked hotels, Sheraton at Saket, Crown Plaza, Suryaa, Siddharth at Rajendra Place and Jivitesh at Pusa Road, to be converted into Covid-19 hospitals.
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