One banquet hall in each district to be turned into a 100-bed Covid facility
These facilities will have at least 100 beds each and will be attached to a Covid dedicated hospital, stated the orders that were issued later in the day.Updated: Jun 28, 2020, 01:54 IST
The Delhi government will convert one banquet hall in every district into a temporary Covid health centre (CHC) to treat patients with moderate symptoms, senior officials in the health department said on Saturday. These facilities will have at least 100 beds each and will be attached to a Covid dedicated hospital, stated the orders that were issued later in the day.
The decision comes after the first such Covid care facility was readied in the Central district on June 24. “On Wednesday, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the 100-bed covid facility in Shehnai banquet hall which has been attached to Lok Nayak hospital. The hospital is located just across the road from the banquet hall. The chief minister liked the concept and the arrangements, and has now directed that each of the 11 districts in Delhi should have one such facility,” a health department official said.
Accordingly, principal secretary (health and family welfare) Vikram Dev Dutt issued an order on Saturday evening, notifying one banquet hall each in eight of the 11 districts. Apart from Shehnai banquet hall, the others include JJV Marketing and Hotels Pvt Limited in New Delhi district which will have 100 beds and has been attached to Lok Nayak hospital, Pearl Grand Galaxy in Shahdara district with 135 beds (GTB hospital), Kanak Banquet hall with 100 beds in southeast district’s Sarita Vihar area (GTB hospital), Kundan banquet hall (160 beds) in southwest (Lok Nayak hospital), RK Banquet (160 beds) in West Delhi (Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty hospital), Heritage Grand (200 beds) in northwest Delhi (Deep Chand Bandhu hospital) and Zehan banquet hall (100 beds) in north Delhi (Satyawati Raja Harish Chandra hospital).
Three districts have been kept out of this for different reasons. The northeast district will have no such facility since the area is “densely populated”, the order stated. The South district is also not included in the plan because it has the 10,000-bed Covid facility, touted to the largest in the world, in Chhatarpur. Similarly, in the the east district a 500-bed Covid care facility is coming up at the Commonwealth Games Village.
Since these facilities will be for Covid-19 patients with moderate symptoms, each bed will have oxygen concentrators as well as an IV fluid stand. If the patient’s condition worsens, he will be taken to the attached hospital immediately, the official said.
“Identifying the banquet halls was not tough for the DMs because they already had the list of around 77 banquet halls across the city, requisition orders of which were issued weeks ago. So, they just had to scan through that list, do a final recce and pick the most suitable one to start the facility. The criteria for finalising these halls included a proper approach road for an ambulance and other parameters such as space for at least 100 beds and washrooms,” said an official in the revenue department.
On June 13, HT reported that the Delhi government had identified 40 hotels and 77 banquet halls to be turned into Covid facilities, which once fully utilised can add over 15,800 beds to the city-state’s health care infrastructure.
As per Saturday’s order, the DMs will have to provide beds, pillows and mattresses, while the banquet hall owners will arrange caretaking and housekeeping staff. “The linked hospitals will provide all doctors and medical staff, infrastructure, consumables, services, etc.”
Addressing a digital press conference on Saturday, Kejriwal said the Delhi government is augmenting Covid beds at a “massive scale”. He said Delhi now has around 13,500 beds available out of which nearly 7,500 were vacant as on Saturday afternoon.
“In the past one month, we scaled up the availability of Covid-19 beds in the city’s hospitals. Our first decision was to reserve at least 40% of beds in all major hospitals of Delhi for Covid patients. Second decision was to convert some government and private hospitals into dedicate Covid facilities. Thirdly, we attached several hotels were attached to hospitals. The hotels were against the move and went to court. We won the legal battle and now 3,500 beds are ready in various hotels across Delhi,” Kejriwal said.