Beds for COVID-19 patients in Delhi to increase by 5000: CM

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the bed strength in the national capital for treating coronavirus patients will increase by 5000 after the city government decided to declare small and medium multi-speciality nursing homes as “COVID nursing homes”.

Small and medium multi-speciality nursing homes in the city having 10 to 49 beds have been declared as “COVID nursing homes” by the Delhi government to increase the bed capacity for coronavirus patients, according to an official order issued on Saturday.

Only standalone exclusive eye centres, ENT centres, dialysis centres, maternity homes and IVF centres are presently exempted, the order said.

“With the Delhi government’s decision, over 5000 beds will be available for coronavirus patients. In the next few days, our officials will talk to owners of each nursing home to solve their problems,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

According to the Delhi Corona app, there are 9,802 beds available for coronavirus patients, with 5,367 beds being occupied at 11 am on Sunday.

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The order to convert small and medium nursing homes into COVID facilities was issued on Saturday.

“In order to avoid intermingling of COVID and non-COVID patients in small and medium multi-speciality nursing homes (10 bedded to 49 bedded) and also to augment the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, all nursing homes in NCT of Delhi having bed strength of 10 beds or more up to 49 beds are declared as COVID nursing homes,” it said.

All such nursing homes are required to make their COVID beds functional within three days of the issuance of the order failing which it would be treated as violation of Clause 14.1 of the schedule appended to Rule 14 of the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration (Amendment) Rules, 2011, it said.

It added that “action, as deemed fit, would be initiated against the defaulter nursing home”.

According to Clause 14.1, in the event of any natural calamity, including outbreak and epidemics or disaster, the owner or the keeper of every nursing home shall, on being directed by the supervising authority in writing, cooperate and provide reasonable assistance and medical aid as may be considered essential by the supervising authority at the time of natural calamity.

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The government on May 24 had directed 117 nursing homes/private hospitals having bed strength of 50 beds or more to reserve/ earmark at least 20 per cent of their total bed strength for COVID-19 patients.

The occupancy of the beds earmarked for COVID patients is displayed on a real-time basis on the Delhi Corona App. More than 70 per cent COVID beds in the private sector are already occupied.

Further, it is projected that there would be a requirement of over 15,000 COVID beds till June 30 and by the end of first fortnight of July, the requirement would further swell up to more than 33,000 COVID beds.

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