Surge in COVID-19 cases: Delhi govt to augment bed capacity, deploy testing vans at crowed places

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (PTI) The Delhi government on Thursday decided to augment the bed capacity in its hospitals and deploy mobile testing vans in markets and crowded places across the city in view of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to review the preparedness along with a need for advanced planning to deal with the spread of coronavirus.

'In the meeting, it was also decided to augment the bed capacity in the Delhi government hospitals. The medical infrastructure will be ramped up with an increase in the oxygen and ICU beds in the Delhi government hospitals for COVID-19 patients,' the government said in a statement.

Delhi has recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases in the past few days with the number of daily infections crossing the 6,000-mark for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.

The statement said the AAP government has also decided to increase targeted testing at crowded places such as markets and added that mobile testing vans will be deployed in such areas. The testing can be availed free of cost by the people at these places, it said.

With regard to reserving beds in private hospitals, the chief minister said the Delhi High Court has stayed the AAP government's order to increase ICU beds in private hospitals.

The Delhi government has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, to lift the stay on the reservation of beds in private hospitals, keeping in view the critical coronavirus situation.

The high court on September 22 had stayed the Delhi government's September 13 decision, saying asking 33 big private hospitals to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients would violate the fundamental rights of those having other health conditions.

In the statement issued on Thursday, the chief minister, during the meeting, said all steps should be taken to maintain a lower fatality rate in the national capital.

At present, Delhi is at the 17th position in terms of the deaths per million population due to coronavirus despite a decrease in the number of virus cases, far behind all metropolitan cities in the country. PTI BUN BUN TDS TDS

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