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450-bed Covid Care Centre to start in new Burari hospital

By Anonna Dutt, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 08, 2020 08:50 AM IST

With the rising number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the city, the Delhi government has decided to start a 450-bed Covid Care Centre at its newly constructed hospital in Burari to cater to those with mild symptoms.

The hospital is yet to open.

So far, there are 12 Covid Care Centres in the city—where people with low-grade fever, sore throat, malaise and other such mild symptoms are admitted—most of which are situated in unused Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) or Delhi Development Authority (DDA) flats.

The Burari facility was designed to be a 768-bed tertiary care hospital, which has been under construction since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s first full term. Even after completion of the construction, the government is still discussing whether the hospital should be run under a public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

Two other super-speciality hospitals in Janakpuri and Tahirpur were to be operated under the PPP model when Sheila Dikshit’s Congress government was in power; however, they were later operationalised as government-run autonomous institutes. One of these hospitals, the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital in Tahirpur, has now been converted into 500-bed dedicated Covid-19 hospital.

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the AAP government has also begun work on operationalising two of its other newly constructed hospitals in Ambedkar Nagar and Dwarka.

The three hospitals will together add over 2,500 beds to the existing 11,770 beds in Delhi government-run hospitals.

“This is part of the routine work to open up more hospitals. Work will begin to open these hospitals up soon. However, the hospital in Burari (the construction of which is almost finished) will take a while to open as the government is still deciding if it will be run on a PPP model,” a senior official in Delhi’s health department said.

These hospitals might also be designated for Covid-19 care if the need arises.

“Currently, there are two designated hospitals under the Delhi government with 2,500 beds to take care of Covid-19 patients. However, if there is a need for more beds, then the new hospitals might also be brought in use as it would be easier to keep the people with viral infection in isolation at the new facilities. There will be no intermixing with non-Covid-19 patients,” the official quoted above said.

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