Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attended a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the rise in cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday. Speaking to media after the meet, Kejriwal announced that the number of daily COVID-19 tests would be increased to over 1 lakh to 1.25 lakh. He also said that thee Centre has assured 750 ICU beds which will be made available at the DRDO centre.
Kejriwal said that the Centre will also help the Delhi government in getting BiPAP machines to increase the number of ICU beds at Delhi government facilities. In the meeting, the Delhi CM also followed up on the Delhi government’s request to increase the number of beds in the Central Government Hospitals.
A high-level emergency meeting was chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday to review the Covid-19 situation in Delhi. Besides CM Kejriwal, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal were also present at the meeting.
Kejriwal said, “Today home Minister Amit Shah called an emergency meeting over the Covid pandemic situation in Delhi. After this meeting, we have the assurance that all the government agencies of both the central government and the state government will work together to tackle the COVID-19 situation of Delhi. I want to thank Shri Amit Shah ji for his cooperation.”
He said, “To save the lives of the citizens of Delhi and for the health of the citizens it is the time when all the governments should work together. Right now the key problem which we are facing is regarding the number of ICU beds in Delhi. After October 20 the number of Covid cases in Delhi is increasing at a very high rate. Right now we have a sufficient amount of Covid beds in Delhi but the scarcity is with the ICU beds.”
The Delhi CM said, “Looking into the situation the central government has assured that in the DRDO Centre they will provide 750 ICU beds. 250 beds will be made available on Monday, followed by 250 on Tuesday and remaining 250 on Wednesday. This will become 750 additional ICU beds for the Covid patients in Delhi. The central government has also ensured that they will provide BiPAP machines to the Delhi government hospitals by which we can also set up more ICU beds for the Covid patients.”
Kejriwal said, “It was also decided in the meeting that the number of tests in Delhi will increase from 60,000 per day to 1 lakh or 1.25 lakh. The Delhi government facilities are working at their highest capacity is right now, therefore, the ICMR has assured us that they will help us to increase the number of testing.”
Earlier this week, Kejriwal wrote to Union Health Minister requesting him to augment Covid-19 bed capacity in central government-run hospitals in the capital in view of the surge in cases. The Delhi government has given a very serious focus on the increasing number of Covid beds in various hospitals.
Regarding this, the Delhi government also reached out to all the private hospitals to increase the number of Covid beds and to reserve 80% of beds for Corona patients.
Last week, the Delhi High Court gave its nod to the Delhi government’s decision of reserving 80% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in 33 private hospitals for Covid-19 patients for two weeks, lifting its legal hold after noting that the coronavirus outbreak was at alarming new levels in the national capital.
As on date, there are 16641 COVID-19 beds out of which the Delhi government hospitals have 5451, Centre has 3721 and the remaining are of private hospitals.
In the meeting with the Home Minister, the Delhi Chief Minister has also asked for cooperation from the Central government to tackle the pandemic. The Delhi CM also asked the Centre to immediately intervene in the matter of pollution and to instruct the neighbouring states to take serious steps to stop the stubble burning.
Earlier also, when the Delhi government has sought support from the Centre, it has always responded positively and provided the state with beds, medical facilities and other support whenever required. The Delhi Model was widely acknowledged by every agency and its the better coordination amongst the various wings of the government that Delhi has managed to control the COVID-19 cases.