COVID-19: 75 doctors, 250 paramedics from paramilitary forces on way to Delhi

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New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) At least 75 doctors and 250 paramedics from the paramilitary forces are on their way from different parts of the country to serve the people of Delhi which is facing a spike in coronavirus cases and manpower shortage.

A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepped in to rev up the fight against the pandemic in the national capital, several meetings were held on Monday in different wings of the government here for the smooth implementation of his 11 directives.

Seventy five doctors and 250 paramedics will join the health workers of Delhi to handle the COVID-19 patients as early as possible, an official privy to the development.

The doctors and paramedics of the paramilitary forces are coming from as far as Assam and Tamil Nadu besides Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, etc.

Arrangements are being made to enhance the number of oxygen beds by strengthening the 10,000 bedded Chhatarpur covid care centre as decided at a high-level meeting chaired by the union home minister on Sunday.

At present, officials said, 10 percent of the beds at the Sardar Patel COVID care centre are oxygen supported and it is called the dedicated COVID healthcare centre (DCHC).

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, authorities of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the DRDO, the Delhi government and the city's municipal corporations held separate meetings for smooth implementation of the 11 directives given to fight the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in the capital, the official said.

The arrangements are also being made for the accommodation of the paramilitary doctors and paramedics who will be arriving in Delhi in the next few days.

The Centre on Sunday announced a slew of steps including making available 300 additional ICU beds, double the number of daily RTPCR tests and a house-to-house survey in the entire national capital.

As per the decisions, some of the hospitals under the municipal corporations of Delhi will be converted into dedicated COVID hospitals.

Doctors and paramedics of paramilitary forces are being flown in to be deployed in the national capital to deal with the shortage of manpower.

It was the second major intervention by Shah, who had announced several steps in June to check the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital after criticism in different quarters of the Delhi government's handling of the crisis.

Sunday's meeting was convened in the wake of the rising number of cases in Delhi that is being called the 'third wave' of COVID-19.

Delhi recorded 3,235 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to over 4.85 lakh on Sunday, while ninety-five more fatalities pushed the death toll to 7,614.

Shah had also announced that the RTPCR tests in Delhi will be doubled and the capacity of the testing laboratories will be enhanced.

Mobile testing vans of the Union Health Ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be deployed in the areas where the COVID-19 threat is high.

Currently, around 18,000 to 19,000PCR tests are conducted daily in Delhi.

The National Centre for Disease Control, in a report drafted recently, had warned that Delhi needed to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh COVID-19 cases per day, taking into account the winter-related respiratory problems, a large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings. PTI NES ACB RT