Will Arrange 15,000 Beds for Covid-19 Patients by June 20: Delhi Heath Minister Satyendar Jain

Delhi Health minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said the city government will arrange 15,000 beds for COVID-19 patients by June 20 and asserted that preparations are being made to meet the projected healthcare infrastructure requirement.

He said the Delhi government is preparing for the "foreseeable situation of June 30", and for that, preparations are being made for COVID infrastructure in stadiums, banquet halls, and hotels.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said, Delhi will need 1.5 lakh beds in healthcare facilities by July 31 once people start coming to the city for treatment from other states.

He asserted that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) dispensation will make an "honest effort" to provide medical treatment to all.

The chief minister said of the 1.5 lakh beds, it is estimated that 80,000 will be required for Delhiites, adding that the calculation is based on numbers that show 50 per cent of the beds in hospitals in the national capital were occupied by those from other states before the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement quoting Jain said around 7000 beds will be occupied by June 15, and 15,000 beds will be occupied by June 30.

"We are currently preparing ourselves for June 30. We will arrange 15,000 beds by June 20, and we want the preparations for July 15 target to be completed by June 30," he said.

Delhi recorded 1,366 fresh cases of COVID-19 on June 9, taking the tally to 31,309, while the death toll mounted to 905, authorities said on Wednesday.

There are 18,543 active cases, and 11,861 people have recovered, Jain said.

Barring June 1, when it saw a spike of 990 cases, Delhi has been recording over 1,000 fresh cases everyday from May 28-June 10, the highest being 1513 on June 3.

Delhi government had recently ordered opening of malls and restaurants with safety norms in place, but had kept on reserve banquet halls and community halls, predicting need for a large number of beds in coming weeks for growing number of patients.

The current doubling rate of coronavirus infection transmission here is 14 days and so the national capital by that estimation will see over 56,000 cases by the end of next two weeks, Jain had said on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday a delegation of Delhi Medical Association met Jain and offered to help the government.

"A large number of beds will be created in various hotels, banquet halls and community halls, etc, in joint collaboration, where DMA will take care of manpower and the government will provide infrastructure and other essential things. A detailed plan is being worked out," the DMA claimed in a statement.

Experts in the city suggested that the efforts of the government should be "decelerate the predicted trajectory of cases" with all measures in places.

"The figures for beds needed seem to have been arrived at through a mathematical model. Our target should be to decelerate the curve so that model does not come fully true in future, and we have less cases than projected. Secondly, everyone must treat the situation as a grave health emergency, assuming every person they are encountering on the street is infected," noted lung surgeon Dr Arvind Kumar told PTI.

Kumar, who works at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here, also advocated using large-scale use of mass media, line television and newspapers to "hammer in the head of the masses" that "things are now much worse than what was on March 25" when the lockdown was imposed.

"Social distancing, wearing masks in public should become our habit now. But, many people have started to take it lightly as we are seeing on streets. This dues not bode well," he added.

Experts also suggested that train coaches converted into wards can be parked at stations here to meet requirements if we run out of beds.