500 extra oxygen beds; no. of every day RT-PCR assessments to go as much as 60okay in Delhi


New Delhi, November 19

To ramp up Delhi’s medical infrastructure, 500 isolation beds at a COVID care centre here will be converted into oxygen beds, while the number of ICU beds in the capital has gone up by 150 in the last three days, the Union home ministry said on Thursday.

The government has also decided to increase the number of daily RT-PCR tests in Delhi to 60,000 by the end of November.

A home ministry spokesperson said as part of the efforts to revamp the COVID care facilities, 75 doctors and 251 paramedics from the paramilitary forces have reported to duty in Delhi, of whom 50 doctors and 175 paramedics have been deployed at the Chhatarpur and Shakur Basti COVID care centres.

The Delhi government has been asked to refer the patients who need critical care to these facilities.

A total of 500 isolation beds at the COVID care centre at Chhatarpur will be converted into beds with oxygen facility and these beds will be ready by the weekend, the home ministry spokesperson said.

As many as 150 ICU beds have been added in the capital in the last three days. In addition, the current capacity of 3,652 ICU beds in Delhi will be further ramped up.

More than 28,708 RT-PCR tests were conducted in the city on Wednesday and the number will be increased to 60,000 by the end of November, the ministry said.

Train coaches with 800 beds at the Shakur Basti railway station will become functional and the doctors and paramedics from the paramilitary forces will man these coaches, it added.

Ten multi-disciplinary teams of the home ministry have been formed to visit more than 100 private hospitals in Delhi for assessing bed utilisation, testing capacity and identifying extra ICU beds. The teams have submitted their reports, which are under the consideration of the health ministry.

The home ministry has also advised the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments to conduct a survey of private hospitals in their NCR districts on the lines of Delhi, the spokesperson said.

The actions come in the wake of 12 decisions taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday, after Delhi saw a fresh spike in COVID-19 cases.

The spurt in coronavirus cases in the capital was witnessed since October 28, when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time. It crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11.

Delhi recorded 7,486 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally in the city to over five lakh, while 131 new fatalities, the highest single-day death count till date, pushed the toll to 7,943.

The rising number of coronavirus cases in Delhi was attributed to the festive season, non-compliance of COVID-appropriate behaviour and a spike in the pollution levels. — PTI



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