Two more hospitals may join Covid fight soon; private cabs to act as ambulances
The government on Sunday appointed medical directors for its two hospitals in Dwarka and Ambedkar Nagar. The hospitals together will add over 1,800 beds to the existing 11,770 beds in Delhi government-run hospitals.Updated: May 04, 2020, 16:04 IST
As the Covid-19 pandemic rages in the city, Delhi government on Sunday said it is ready to start operations at two — of its three — government hospitals that have been under construction since the first tenure of the AAP government .
The government on Sunday appointed medical directors for its two hospitals in Dwarka and Ambedkar Nagar. The hospitals together will add over 1,800 beds to the existing 11,770 beds in Delhi government-run hospitals.
“This is part of the routine ongoing work to open up more hospitals. Work will begin to open these hospitals up soon. However, the hospital in Burari (whose construction is also almost finished) will take a while to open as the government is still deciding whether it will be on a PPP model or not,” said a senior official from Delhi’s health department.
The services of these hospitals might be included for Covid-19, if need be.
“Currently, there are two designated hospitals under Delhi government with 2,500 beds to take care of Covid-19 patients. However, if there is need for more beds, then the new hospitals might also pitch in 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,” according to the official.
Earlier, the Delhi government had allocated Covid-19 areas in five designated hospitals. However, fearing spread of infection, only two hospitals were completely earmarked for dealing with Covid-19 cases exclusively.
Around 200 taxis of an app-based cab-aggregator service will be available across the city to ferry people in need of non-Covid-19 medical care, during the lockdown. Only non-critical patients will be transported in these taxis.
Patients across the city right now are solely dependent on ambulance service for transportation during medical emergencies, with no public transport available due to the lockdown.
“It is decided to continue the use of these vehicles as ambulance service to carry non-Covid, non-critical patients to and from hospitals in coordination with CATS Ambulance helpline 102,” the government order read.
The cabs will be allocated through the Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) Ambulance service at the helpline number — 102. The Delhi government has also issued four other cell-phone numbers to reach CATS call centre -- 7291000071, 7291000078, 7291000093, 7291000094.
The taxis are being provided to the Delhi government free of charge by the aggregator service.
The government run CATS service has around 151 ambulances for emergencies across the city, of which about 60 are deputed for transporting Covid-19 positive or suspected cases. The Delhi government had launched the ‘Home to Hospital Care Scheme’ in 2015 to provide free ambulance service for all medical emergencies. Earlier, the service was restricted to accidents and deliveries.
On Saturday, at least 15 people working in the modern control room of CATS services in Laxmi Nagar had tested positive for Covid-19.