In view of the spike in Covid-19 cases and shortage of ICU beds in a few of the private hospitals in the national capital, the Delhi government has issued an order to address the crisis. The AAP government has asked 33 private hospitals in Delhi to enhance their ICU bed capacity for Covid-19 patients by 220.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, "We have given orders to private hospitals to increase the number of ICU beds by 220. We have also asked big private hospitals to increase the beds by 838 in their wards."
The Health Minister said that in the government-run hospitals, both ICU and general beds were available, indicating no crisis there.
"Overall, the occupancy in both government and private hospitals is 25%. However, in three to four hospitals, there was a shortage of ICU beds, which is why the government passed orders that in 33 big hospitals, the number of beds be increased by 220," he said.
According to the Delhi government’s coronavirus App, the total number of Covid-19 beds in the capital is 5815, out of which, 1,799 are occupied and 4,016 are vacant. Similarly, of the 787 Covid-19 ICU beds with ventilators, 298 are occupied while 489 are vacant. Of the 1232 Covid-19 ICU beds without ventilators, 394 are occupied while 838 are currently vacant. The worry for the government stemmed from reports of some private hospitals running out of Covid-19 ICU beds.
Yesterday, the Delhi government held a review meeting on the Covid-19 situation in the capital , the focus of which was the availability of beds following which Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted , "In view of COVID situation developing in Del, no of normal n ICU beds reserved for COVID is being increased in a few hospitals. This will improve bed availability. We r keeping close watch and will take all steps necessary. There is nothing to worry. But pl follow all precautions (SIC)."
The Delhi government is also stepping up efforts to vaccinate citizens following the revised central governmnnt norm that allows for those above 45 years to take their shots beginning April 1.
Jain said, "In Delhi, the number of people above 45 years of age is 65 lakh, including the 20 lakh people who are above 60 years of age. We are further scaling up the vaccination drive in Delhi, beginning tomorrow. There are 500 centers in Delhi. All are open from 9 am till 9 pm."
"In order to encourage those who are finding the registration process difficult, the government has given a window between 3 pm and 9 pm to take their shots. The stock of vaccine doses available now is sufficient and this will be further increased. Delhi has 500 vaccination centers," he said.
On the accusation of the BJP that the number of tests has gone down in Delhi, Jain said, "When we are testing five times more than any BJP-ruled states, we should be fine. If we are testing less than five times their numbers, we will concede to the opposition’s charge that testing has gone down in Delhi."
Delhi reported 992 positive cases on Tuesday, following a dip in the number of tests to 36,757 from a high 91, 703 tests three days ago.
Jain said, "The positivity rate was 2.7%. In the past few days, the positivity rate in Delhi was hovering around 3%. In some states, the positivity rate has touched 10%. In Delhi, we have increased the testing in a big way. Due to Holi and Sunday, the number of tests had come down. However, from today, we are doing 80,000 plus tests. Upto thirty contacts of those found Covid-19 positive are being traced in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus."