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In Delhi, Covid hotel-hospitals for treatment, isolation

Three more government hospitals have also been designated to treat Covid patients — Deep Chand Bandhu, Satyawati Harish Chandra and GTB, which will bolster bed capacity by 900.

Medics attend to a suspected COVID-19 patient at a government hospital in New Delhi. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

The Delhi government on Friday roped in hotels for treatment as well as isolation of Covid-19 patients. For treatment, the government has tied up with five hotels that will be converted into “extended Covid hospitals”, augmenting the bed capacity by 1,000 beds.

The capital reported 1,106 cases on Friday — the second straight day when the Covid count breached the 1,000 mark. The number of deaths rose by 82, including 13 over the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 398.

Three more government hospitals have also been designated to treat Covid patients — Deep Chand Bandhu, Satyawati Harish Chandra and GTB, which will bolster bed capacity by 900.

Read | Delhi: Cases up over past 10 days, so is positivity rate

The five hotels — Hotel Crowne Plaza (Okhla), Hotel Suryaa (New Friends Colony), Hotel Siddharth (Rajendra Place), Hotel Jivitesh (Pusa Road) and Hotel Sheraton (Saket) — will be attached with private hospitals and function as makeshift medical facilities to treat patients.

While Sheraton will be run by Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital at Saket, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital will operate Hotel Suryaa. Batra Hospital & Research Centre will operate Hotel Crowne Plaza, while Dr B L Kapur Memorial Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram City Hospital will run Hotel Siddharth and Hotel Jivitesh respectively.

“Beds in government hospitals are lying vacant, even ICUs and ventilators are available.

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But people are opting for admission to private hospitals. The government’s responsibility is to provide treatment to all. But since the private hospitals are running full, it’s a good decision to attach hotels for treatment of coronavirus patients. Anticipating a surge, we have started preparation for the coming days. The percentage of positive patients is also increasing, which is a red alert for us,” said Dr Arun Gupta, president of the Delhi Medical Council.

In an order issued by Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla, the hotels have been asked to provide regular services, including housekeeping, disinfection and food for the patients at a price not more than Rs 5,000 for a five-star hotel and Rs 4,000 for a four/three star hotel per day per person. The linked hospital shall be paid an amount not more than Rs 5,000 per patient per day, inclusive of consumables, service of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and nursing staff.

“The attached private hospital is required to provide sufficient manpower (nurses and doctors) as per norms. Further, the attached hospital is also required to provide oxygen supply, either in the form of oxygen concentrator or oxygen cylinder, in the extended Covid hospital in case a patient requires oxygen support. The attached hospital shall provide all consumables like PPE kit, N95 mask, gloves, medicines and equipment like pulse-oximeter, thermometer, oxygen concentrator/cylinder, etc. They shall also make the necessary arrangements to provide resuscitation services (equipment, drugs and medical consumables) in the extended Covid hospital in case there is a rapid deterioration in the clinical condition of the patient,” the order stated.

However, the hospitals linked to the hotels can charge investigation charges as per their rates at a maximum of Rs 2,000 per bed per day. “Further, the linked hospital may accommodate their doctors and staff at the hotel at their own expense, if required,” said a senior official from the state health department.

In another significant decision, the government issued an order stating that those eligible for home isolation can also quarantine themselves in 10 hotels in the city, on a payment basis. Five of the hotels are in Aerocity — Holiday Inn, Hotel Pride Plaza, Aloft Hotel, Ibis Hotel and JW Marriott. The others are Sheraton Hotel in Saket, ITC Welcomhotel in Dwarka, Taj Vivanta in Dwarka, Suryaa Hotel in New Friends Colony, and Hotel Le Meridien.

A total of 1,870 rooms have been earmarked in the 10 hotels. The hotel rates, as fixed by the government, vary from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per day, depending on single or double occupancy. This includes three meals a day. At present, of the 9,142 active cases in Delhi, 4,651 are under home isolation.

“Since hotels are lying vacant, it was decided to utilise them for treating coronavirus patients. The number of cases will increase in the coming days, so we need to stay prepared. If needed, more hotels will be roped in. It all depends on the number of cases and the positivity rate,” said a senior official of the health department.

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