Convert some govt, private hospitals into dedicated COVID-19 facilities: Kejriwal tells officials

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New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday directed officials to convert some government and private hospitals into dedicated COVID-19 facilities to cope with the alarming rise in the number of cases in the national capital.

Terming the COVID-19 situation in Delhi 'very serious', the chief minister also asked the officials to request the Centre to increase the number of beds for COVID-19 patients in its hospitals in the city, an official statement said.

Kejriwal said the number of beds in government and private hospitals must be at par with that in November last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak.

He also directed the officials to convert some private and government hospitals into dedicated COVID-19 facilities, according to the statement.

He added that the objective of his government is to provide the best COVID-19 treatment facilities to the people of Delhi.

'We will further request the central government to increase COVID beds in central government hospitals as well,' Kejriwal said.

The fourth wave of the pandemic is the most dangerous so far and there should be no shortage of beds, he said.

Officials present at the meeting told the chief minister that COVID-19 patients are rapidly filling up hospital beds in Delhi.

Kejriwal expressed concern over people with very mild or no symptoms getting admitted to hospitals and occupying beds.

He said only those patients who are serious should come to hospitals and all others must be treated in home isolation.

The government is alert and taking all necessary steps in view of the growing number of COVID-19 patients, officials said.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain and Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, among others, were present at the meeting.

After the meeting, Kejriwal took to Twitter to appeal to people to follow COVID-19 protocols and avoid rushing to hospitals unless necessary.

'Held review meeting. We are taking several steps to increase beds in both pvt and govt sectors. Urge everyone to cooperate. 1. Pl pl (please) follow covid protocols. 2. Don't rush to hospital unless necessary 3. Go and vaccinate if u r eligible,' he tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Jain told reporters that 1,090 COVID-19 beds are currently available in central government hospitals as against 4,000 in November.

Delhi recorded its biggest daily jump of 10,774 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total tally to 7,25,197. Forty-eight more fatalities pushed the death toll to 11,283, according to health department data. PTI VIT DIV DIV