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New Delhi: 1,072 more Covid beds as infections surge

Delhi has got an additional 1,072 Covid beds, including 230 ICU beds and 842 normal Covid beds, in the wake of a surge in Covid cases. The beds have been added in 33 private hospitals after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal reviewed the situation. Only 25% of the existing beds are currently occupied but the government has made advance arrangements because Delhi also receives patients from outside. Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and other big states are also reporting a surge in Covid cases.

In reaction to a question, health minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that the decision on whether those coming from states with a heavy Covid caseload would require a Covid negative report to come to Delhi, was still being discussed. There is no clarity on whether the government is planning to make negative Covid report mandatory for entering Delhi. Currently, random Covid tests are being done at the airport, bus terminals and railway stations to test those coming from states reporting a surge in Covid cases.

Jain said the ICU beds have been increased by 25% in 33 private hospitals. “CM Arvind Kejriwal ordered to increase Covid ICU beds,” he added.

“In Delhi government hospitals, enough beds are vacant. Overall occupancy rate, inclusive of private and government hospitals, is 25%. It is a comfortable situation but, there were instances of shortage of beds in 2-3 hospitals, therefore, orders were issued yesterday to increase 230 ICU beds in 33 hospitals,” Jain said.

Delhi had 1,705 Covid beds till March 30, which increased to 2,547 on Wednesday, while the number of Covid ICU beds increased from 608 to 838 in a day.

Delhi government has also instructed private hospitals to update the list of extended ICUs and common beds on the data management portal. “Delhi reported 992 cases on Tuesday and the positivity rate stood at 2.7%. Delhi has set the target of conducting at least 80,000 tests daily,” said Jain.

Kejriwal had on Tuesday stated that in view of the prevailing Covid situation, the number of normal and ICU beds reserved for Covid was being increased in a few hospitals. “This will improve bed availability. We are keeping a close watch and will take all steps necessary. There is nothing to worry about. But please follow all precautions,” he had tweeted.

“For the past few days, the positivity rate is looming around 3% as Delhi as well as the entire country is witnessing a surge. In some states, the positivity rate has crossed 10%. Testing capacity, too, has been increased. More than 80,000 tests will be conducted daily. We are conducting genome tracing of up to 30 family and friends of those who have tested positive,” Jain said. Times Of India