200 beds in Ambedkar Nagar hospital to open by month-end; 450 beds in Burari likely to start from next week
To ramp up the city’s hospital bed infrastructure amid a rise in Covid-19 cases, the Delhi government will next week open a newly constructed hospital in Burari and partially start another one in South Delhi’s Ambedkar Nagar by the end of this month for coronavirus patients, senior government officials said on Thursday.
The health department has prepared a proposal to first start 200 beds in the 600-bedded facility Ambedkar Nagar -- seven years after it was first approved -- all of which will be dedicated to Covid-19 patients. The proposal is likely to be tabled in the next cabinet meeting, the date for which is yet to be finalised.
But before this hospital is opened, the government will start another of its new hospital in Burari for Covid-19 patients. The facility, which has a capacity of 700 beds, will start with 450 beds from next week.
“In the case of Burari hospital, only the fire safety clearance is awaited. We are expecting to start 450 beds for Covid-19 patients there from around next week. In Ambedkar Nagar, fire safety clearance will take a few more days, so we are expecting to start 200 beds in that facility by the end of this month,” said an official from deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s office. Sisodia is also presently Delhi’s health minister.
Government officials, however, clarified that neither the Burari nor the Ambedkar Nagar facilities will have ICU beds. In both hospitals, arrangements have been made for medical and supporting staff, officials said.
“Some of these beds will have oxygen supply and oxygen cylinders, but no ICU bed is being readied in these two facilities yet,” a government official said.
In Burari, 250 beds will have oxygen support. “Every third bed here will have an oxygen supply attached to it. Around 125 beds have oxygen supply, and 125 will be provided through oxygen cylinders,” the official said.
The hospital in Ambedkar Nagar was approved in 2013 at a cost of Rs 125.9 crore by the Congress government. While initially it planned to house 200 beds, the Aam Aadmi Party government increased the capacity to 600.
Residents of Ambedkar Nagar said the hospital would benefit not just them but also those in nearby areas such as Sangam Vihar, Deoli, Khanpur, Madangir and Dakshinpuri.
“Right now, we just have Batra hospital, which is a private facility. For Covid-19 treatment, there was no government facility in the area. This would help many get free treatment if it is opened,” said Satish, who goes by his first name and is a resident of E-Block.
Lalit Kant, a scientist and former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR, said the government must focus on increasing ICU beds and ventilator beds. “On Thursday, there were more than 10,300 beds vacant in various hospitals in Delhi. But almost 66% ICU beds in private hospitals and 40% in government hospitals are already occupied. So, the authorities should scale up ICU beds and ventilator beds,” he said.
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