COVID-19 surge: Delhi CM asks civic bodies to increase beds, boost medical infra in their hospitals

Kejriwal said the current number of fresh cases is 'extremely overwhelming'

COVID-19 surge: Delhi CM asks civic bodies to increase beds, boost medical infra in their hospitals

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File photo

New Delhi, April 18

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested the BJP-ruled municipal corporations in Delhi to increase the number of beds and strengthen medical infrastructure in their hospitals in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital.

In a meeting with the mayors and commissioners of the three municipal corporations in Delhi, held virtually, Kejriwal said his government will work with the Centre and the civic bodies to handle the latest COVID wave the city is experiencing.

“I request all three municipal corporations to provide more beds. We are ready to provide things like PPE kits and oxygen which will be needed. I also request you to deploy maximum medical infrastructure and manpower,” he said.

The chief minister thanked the municipal corporations for the way they have handled crematoriums under their jurisdictions and hoped they will continue to do so.          

“We will give you whatever else you require. If you have beds, we will ensure that the rest of it—PPE kits, oxygen cylinders and other things—are provided. So, if you can increase the number of beds that would be of immense help.”

“We are preparing beds in Yamuna complex and in the commonwealth games village. But we need doctors and nurses to monitor patients,” Kejriwal said.

The municipal corporations may spare their medical staff for the next 20-25 days and help the Delhi government overcome this wave, he said.           

Delhi recorded 24,375 coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic began ravaging countries, and a record number of 167 deaths.

Kejriwal said the current number of fresh cases is “extremely overwhelming” compared to mid-March when 100-150 COVID-19 positive cases were being reported daily.

“Currently, the crisis is because of the rate at which the virus is spreading; 24,000 is a very big number. Beds are limited and it is natural that if such big numbers continue, a time might come when beds will not be available.

“If this pace continues then within the next two to three days, we will face a shortage of beds and other facilities. In a way, this is a race against time,” he said.

The chief minister warned that if the situation continues, the health system will reach a point of collapse where beds, oxygen and ventilators will not be able to meet the overwhelming demand. PTI

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