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Shah takes charge of Delhi's COVID-19 war: 750 ICU beds, double RT-PCR tests
New Delhi, November 15, 2020
With Union Home Minister Amit Shah taking charge of Delhi's war against COVID-19 once again, the Centre on Sunday assured the Arvind Kejriwal government of 750 ICU beds in the DRDO centre out of which 500 will be made available in the next two days itself.
The Centre has also decided to double the RT-PCR tests in the national capital. These decisions came at the Delhi government and Centre's emergency meeting at Delhi's North Block in the wake of rising COVID cases.
"COVID cases have been sharply rising ever since October 30. We still have a decent number of COVID beds, but ICU beds are fast getting exhausted. The Centre said that 500 ICU beds will be made available in the DRDO centre in the next couple days and additionally another 250 in the coming days," Kejriwal told reporters after the meeting.
In a series of tweets, Shah informed about the "directions" given in the high-level meeting to review the growing cases of COVID-19 and the medical infrastructure in Delhi.
"Today gave various instructions in the meeting. First, the RT-PCR tests in Delhi will be increased two-fold. Secondly, mobile testing vans of the Ministry of Health and ICMR will be deployed where there is a high risk of getting COVID and making maximum use of the capacity of labs in Delhi," Shah tweeted.
Shah also asked the Kejriwal government to increase capacity of hospitals in Delhi and availability of other medical infrastructure.
He added that 250 to 300 ICU beds will be added in DRDO's COVID hospital located in Dhaula Kuan.
Shah asserted that the 10,000-bed COVID Centre in Chhatarpur will be further strengthened with an aim to increase the availability of beds with oxygen facilities. He also said that some identified hospitals of MCD will be converted into dedicated hospitals for the treatment of COVID patients with mild symptoms.
It was asserted in the meeting that dedicated multi-departmental teams will visit all private hospitals in Delhi to clearly indicate the availability of beds and medical conditions while all previously initiated containment measures, such as the establishment of container zones, contact tracing, and quarantine and screening, will be reviewed.
Shah instructed that especially those who are at high risk of getting the disease should be constantly reviewed so that there is no shortcoming in implementing preventive measures.
In what can go to great length to help Delhi's doctors treating COVID-19 patients, the Home Minister said, "The Modi government has decided to provide additional doctors and para medical staff from CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) in view of the shortage of health workers in Delhi, they will be airlifted to Delhi soon."
Shah also instructed officials to track those under home isolation and shift them to hospitals, should the need arise, to save more lives.
He also instructed the to prepare protocols for plasma donation in severe coronavirus cases and for providing plasma to affected persons. A high level committee headed by Planning Commission member V K Paul, the Director, AIIMS and Director General, ICMR will report on it soon, Shah added.
"To save more and more people in Delhi, the central government will provide oxygen cylinders, high flow nasal cannula and all other essential health equipment to Delhi," the Home Minister assured the meeting.
But he asked the Kejriwal government to inform people about COVID-appropriate behaviour which he says is the best way to stay safe.
The meeting came at a time when the national capital is witnessing skyrocketing cases on a daily basis for the past few days. Earlier also, Shah had stepped in to contain the situation after Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia predicted a massive surge.