File photo: A long queue of people for Covid-19 test. (Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times)
File photo: A long queue of people for Covid-19 test. (Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times)

Amid rise in Covid-19 cases, Delhi govt orders increase in hospital beds

With hospital beds earmarked for the treatment of Covid-19 patients filling up fast, the Delhi government has ordered 11 government and 54 private hospitals of the national capital to increase the number of beds, orders issued by the Delhi government stated on Monday
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2021 12:30 AM IST

With hospital beds earmarked for the treatment of Covid-19 patients filling up fast, the Delhi government has ordered 11 government and 54 private hospitals of the national capital to increase the number of beds, orders issued by the Delhi government stated on Monday.

This will add 1,540 beds in the government sector and 3,297 beds in the private sector. Of these, 1,073 beds will be in the intensive care unit (ICU).

“The positivity rate and the number of active cases in Delhi was 2.71% and 8,838 on 31.03.2021 respectively. The same increased to 4.67% and 13,982, respectively on 04.04.2021. The occupancy of COVID ICU and ward beds across 33 private hospitals has increased markedly and the overall occupancy of COVID ICU beds and COVID ward beds in these hospitals on 05.04.2021 was 78% and 68% respectively,” read the order from Dr RN Das, medical superintendent, Delhi’s Nursing Home Cell.

City’s private hospitals have been asked to reserve at least 30% of their total ward and ICU capacity or double the number of beds occupied on April 5, whichever is higher, the order stated.

“Every day we are freeing up more and more beds for Covid-19 patients. Last year, all non-emergency surgeries were put on hold. Patients were anyway not coming to the hospitals because of the Covid-19 scare. Now, even the non-Covid services are running at about 70 to 80% of what it was before Covid-19,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo.

Dr Rommel Tickoo, director of internal medicine, Max Healthcare, said, “The cases are rising exponentially. The pace at which the number of cases went up this time around did not give us any time to ramp up the capacity. The situation is heading towards what it was during November.”

The occupancy of beds was high across various major private hospitals – 82.4% at Indraprastha Apollo, 88.1% at Sir Ganga Ram hospital, and 70.6% at Max hospital, Saket.

Among government hospital, Lok Nayak Hospital was directed to increase the number of Covid-19 beds from 300 to 1,000, with the number of ICU beds increasing from 50 to 200. The hospital was the first Delhi government-run centre to be designated as a Covid-19 centre in March last year after which all 2,000 of its beds were earmarked for the treatment of the viral infection.

“We have received the order to increase the number of beds, we will have to move some patients around but we have as many beds available at the moment. We have a capacity of 2,000 beds and there are only 700 non-Covid patients admitted at the moment. The medicine and casualty blocks will be reserved for Covid-19 patients,” said a senior administrator from the hospital.

Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where none of the beds was earmarked for Covid-19 as the number of cases went down, has been asked to increase the number of beds to 500, with 100 beds in the ICU.

“Logistics required, if any, may be sourced by using powers delegated under section 50 of the Disaster Management Act,” read the order by SM Ali, special secretary (health).

This is the second time when the Kejriwal government has directed to increase the number of beds across some of the major private hospitals within the week. On March 31, 33 major private hospitals of the city were asked to add 1,080 beds. This comes as the city witnessed a sudden jump in the number of new Covid-19 cases recently.

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