Delhi Will Need 15,000 Beds by June End as Covid-19 Cases to Reach 1 Lakh by Then: Govt Report

Delhi will require almost 15,000 beds by the end of June since the number of coronavirus cases is likely to touch the 1-lakh mark by then, according to a report submitted by an expert committee to the Delhi government.

The five-member panel, headed by Indraprastha University Vice-Chancellor Mahesh Verma, was constituted by the AAP government and submitted its report on Saturday.

"This was only to emphasise the urgent need for increasing beds. We have to be prepared for the surge in cases. We have almost 9,500 beds currently. Cases are doubling up every two weeks. We have forecast that we need more than 15,000 beds by the end of June and more beds in July," said a member of the panel, requesting anonymity.

Nearly 20-25 per cent cases need hospitalisation and 5 per cent need ventilators or admission to ICU, he explained.

In the report, the panel has also recommended that more private and government hospitals need to be converted into COVID hospitals to tackle the surge in cases, which are likely to touch the 1-lakh mark by the end of this month.

"Some nursing homes can be converted into COVID facilities. Some clubs, stadiums can be made as makeshift hospitals not just by keeping beds but also there should be oxygen concentrators," said the panel member.

The panel has suggested that the health infrastructure of the city should be used only for treating Delhiites in view of the raging COVID-19 crisis.

Based on the suggestions of the panel, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had announced on Sunday that the hospitals run by the Delhi government and private entities will only treat Delhiites during the coronavirus crisis.

However, sources said, Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday overruled the AAP government decision.

Authorities said Delhi has recorded over 29,000 coronavirus so far and the death toll due to the disease reached 874. On Monday, the city recorded 1,007 COVID-19 cases but the highest spike of 1,513 fresh cases was recorded on June 3.