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Delhi ramps up hospital bed capacity to meet heatwave exigency

In response to the ongoing extreme heatwave in Delhi, Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj led an emergency meeting on Wednesday with the top officials from major hospitals in the city. During the meeting, the minister emphasised the importance of ensuring adequate health facilities, including a sufficient number of beds to address the rising cases of heat-related illnesses.

One of the key decisions made in the meeting was to mobilise Delhi Police officers and patrolling teams to assist in relocating homeless individuals to designated shelter homes if they are found exposed to the elements.

Minister Bharadwaj highlighted the need for swift action by stating, “The Health Department is reaching out to the Delhi Police Commissioner to urge their patrolling teams to contact ambulances when they come across destitute individuals suffering from high fevers or illness.”

Additionally, the Health Minister directed hospitals to increase their capacity to accommodate patients with heat-related conditions and announced plans to issue a new advisory through radio and newspaper channels to raise public awareness about the risks of the heatwave.

However, Minister Bharadwaj expressed concern over the absence of Health Secretary SB Deepak Kumar, who reportedly took leave without the necessary approval. In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the minister criticized the lack of disciplinary action taken against the Health Secretary for his unauthorised absence during a critical time.

As Urban Development Minister, Bharadwaj also instructed the CEO of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to take action against three senior officers who failed to comply with directives to inspect homeless shelters. The minister emphasized the importance of ensuring adequate amenities, such as water dispensers and air coolers, in shelter homes and stressed the need for regular monitoring to maintain accountability.

The Health Minister’s proactive measures and calls for accountability reflect the urgency of addressing the challenges posed by the current heatwave in Delhi. Business Today

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