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As Delhi’s death toll crosses 100, hotels and banquets set aside for Covid patients

In a separate order, the Delhi government has revised the bed capacity for 14 top private hospitals which were turned into Covid-only facilities on April 12. In the updated order issued by the state health department, the hospitals are now required to reserve at least 3,553 beds for Covid-19 patients out of 4,337 beds.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: April 15, 2021 10:49:44 am
Delhi, Covid-19A person who died of COVID-19 being taken for cremation, amid a spike in coronavirus cases countrywide, at Nigam Bodh Crematorium in New Delhi, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

Delhi reported the highest single-day spike with 17,282 new Covid cases and 104 deaths Wednesday. A total of 1,08,534 tests were conducted and the positivity rate stood at a steep 16%.

Amid rising cases and shortage of beds and critical care facilities, the Delhi government issued orders to attach hotels and banquet halls with private and government hospitals, to add more beds for Covid patients.

At present, there are 13,437 beds earmarked, out of which 8,870 (66%) are occupied. There are 50,736 active cases, of which 24,155 people are under home isolation, as per Delhi government data.

COVID-19 testing of passengers being conducted at an East Delhi weekly market in New Delhi as coronavirus cases surge across the national capital, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

“The numbers are rapidly rising every day and there is no slowdown in the spread of infection. So, I will advise people to step out only if urgent and needed. Even those who have been vaccinated must not show any form of negligence, and must follow Covid-appropriate behaviour,” said Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday.

While 23 private hospitals have been linked with hotels and banquets, five Delhi government hospitals have been attached with banquet halls. The hotels include Seven Seas Hotel, Caspia Hotel Fraser Suites, Mayur Vihar, Hotel Surya, Park Inn by Radisson Lajpat Nagar IV and Crowne Plaza Hotel. After these additions, around 2,900 mode beds will be available for Covid patients. Hotels and banquet halls will have the facility to administer oxygen to patients. Rs 5,000 per day per room can be charged by five-star hotels. The amount is Rs 4,000 in case of four-star hotels.

Patients who require ventilators, however, are having a tougher time. Out of 94 hospitals that had ventilator beds for Covid patients, 69 are already full. While the occupancy of ventilator beds was 94% on Wednesday morning, by evening it went down to around 85%.

“Initially, when the first few cases came up, ventilators were considered a primary health tool. But the truth is that a ventilator is the last resort. There are many levels before that, such as medication, home isolation, administering oxygen, HFNO, Bi-pap, etc. There are a number of ventilator beds and if there’s a patient occupying it, then it is shown as engaged in the app. But there is no shortage of ventilators at present,” Jain said.

Earlier in the day, Jain had also said that the Delhi government has requested the Centre to add more beds in all their hospitals in the city. “During the last peak, 4,100 beds were available with the central government and at present, the count is 1,100. We have requested them to increase the beds and discussions are being held daily. The surge is unprecedented, and the Delhi government has ramped up the infrastructure in the hospitals. They have not refused to do so, and are working towards it,” he said.

In a separate order, the Delhi government has revised the bed capacity for 14 top private hospitals which were turned into Covid-only facilities on April 12. In the updated order issued by the state health department, the hospitals are now required to reserve at least 3,553 beds for Covid-19 patients out of 4,337 beds. In addition, the 14 hospitals are allowed to temporarily increase the bed capacity up to 35% and additional beds may be utilised for treatment of non-Covid patients.

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