Railways providing coaches with 800 beds to Delhi for COVID-19 treatment: MHA

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New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) As many as 45 doctors and 160 paramedics of the paramilitary forces have arrived in Delhi for deployment on COVID-19 duties while the Railways will make available coaches with 800 beds at a station here to be used as COVID care-cum-isolation facilities, the MHA said on Wednesday.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is going to add 250 additional ICU beds to the existing 250 ICU beds in addition to creating 35 BIPAP beds in the next 3 to 4 days at its COVID-19 hospital near the Delhi airport.

The actions come in the wake of 12 decisions taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday.

Delhi has witnessed a spurt in coronavirus cases since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11.

Forty-five doctors and 160 para-medics from paramilitary forces have arrived in Delhi for deployment at DRDO hospital near Delhi airport and at a COVID care centre at Chhatarpur, a home ministry spokesperson said.

Remaining doctors and medics will reach Delhi in the next few days, the official said.

The home ministry has constituted 10 multi-disciplinary teams to visit more than 100 private hospitals in Delhi for assessing bed utilisation and testing capacity and to identify extra ICU beds. Visits by the teams is underway, the official said.

The Indian Railways is making available coaches with 800 beds at Shakur Basti railway station while doctors and para-medics from paramilitary forces will man the coaches which will act as COVID care-cum-isolation facilities.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Delhi government are working together to enhance RT-PCR testing capacity to 60,000 tests by end of November, the official said.

Testing capacity has already been enhanced by 10,000 tests per day on November 17, the spokesperson said.

The planning for house to house survey in Delhi is in the advanced stage. The survey is expected to begin by the end of the week and completed by November 25, the official said.

According to the spokesperson, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has dispatched 250 ventilators from Bengaluru and they are expected to reach Delhi by the end of the week.

The Union health ministry has delivered 35 BIPAP machines to DRDO COVID facility near the Delhi airport, the official said.

To bring testing closer to Delhi residents, the ICMR will help Delhi government in deploying 10 mobile testing laboratories with a total capacity of 20,000 tests in a phased manner beginning next week, the spokesperson said. PTI ACB RHL