Railways to convert coaches into 800-bed Covid care centre in Delhi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 18, 2020

The Indian Railways will make available train coaches with 800 beds at Delhi’s Shakur Basti Railway station which will serve as a Covid-19 care- cum-isolation facility. The facility will be manned by doctors and paramedical staff drawn from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), a Home Ministry spokesperson said in a tweet on Wednesday.

A high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday had decided, among other things, to fly in 75 doctors and around 250 paramedical personnel to the capital where the Covid-19 situation had started worsening since the end of last month.

Third Covid wave

In the grip of the third Covid-19 wave, the national capital has been seeing the highest number of fresh daily cases of late. In the last 24 hours, Delhi reported over close to 6,400 new cases and 99 deaths.

State-owned Bharat Electronics, which is making ventilators together with Mysuru-based Skanray Technologies, has already dispatched 250 ventilators that are expected to reach Delhi by this weekend. Similarly, the Health Ministry has delivered 35 BiPAP machines, which can help breathing easier for Covid-19 patients, to the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) Covid facility, and another 25 such machines will be given to the Delhi government, the spokesperson said.

The Home Ministry has also constituted 10 multi-disciplinary teams, consisting of, among others, a community medicine specialist and a hospital administration expert, which will visit over 100 private hospitals in Delhi and the National Capital Region to assess bed utilisation and testing capacity, apart from identifying extra ICU beds. While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Vinod Paul had said the plan was to increase the number of ICU beds and those with oxygen support to 6,000.

Also teams, consisting of Delhi government and Municipal Corporations of Delhi staff as well as other stakeholders, are being formed for house-to-house surveys in containment zones, whose numbers have ballooned to more than 4,400, beginning this weekend till November 25.

Also is in the plan to increase the number of tests being carried out in Delhi to 1-1.2 lakh per day, half of them by more reliable RT-PCR tests. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will deploy 10 mobile Covid- testing labs with a total capacity of 20,000 tests per day to help the Delhi government augment the testing capacity. ICMR will also deploy more manpower at existing labs, making it possible to do an additional 2,000 tests per day.

As many as five RT-PCR labs in the capital, including one at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, have started functioning round the clock to boost the testing capacity, according to the Home Ministry spokesperson.

Besides, Indo-Tibetan Border Police-run Chhatarpur Covid facility will augment oxygen beds available to accommodate more patients and an additional 250-300 ICU beds created at the DRDO Covid centre near Dauala Kuan.

Published on November 18, 2020

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