Centre spells out plan: Home care facilities, ICU beds, mobile testing to be ramped up in Delhi

Spelling out the details on the measures being undertaken, Dr V K Paul, Member NITI Aayog, during the weekly briefing, reiterated that the situation is “worrying”.

Provision of Homecare facilities for 40,000 active cases, an 8,000 strong surveillance team, ten mobile testing labs, and the setting up of 6000 ICU beds are among the urgent measures being implemented by authorities in the capital to bring the surge in novel coronavirus cases, the Centre Tuesday said.

Spelling out the details on the measures being undertaken, Dr V K Paul, Member NITI Aayog, during the weekly briefing, reiterated that the situation is “worrying”. “There is a wholehearted 360-degree approach to take care of the situation in Delhi, which is worrying. The fact remains that beyond a stage, this kind of intensity of pandemic can be very dangerous to lives and livelihood,” Dr Paul said.

During the briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the Centre will discuss, as per procedure, if any proposal is forwarded to it by the AAP government on imposing restrictions in the capital. “The question if any restrictions are imposed and what is the procedure to be followed; and that is well established. If there is any proposal from the Delhi government, the Delhi state disaster management authority will discuss it. If the Centre receives any such proposal through the LG, then that will be also discussed,” Bhushan said.

On augmentation of ICU beds, Paul said, “There was a stress on ICU beds. The capacity was around 3,500 ICU beds. In the next 3-4 days, we will reach up to 6,000 ICU beds. Most of the work has been completed. The DRDO facility, with a 1,000 bed facility, run by the Armed forces, will have 537 ICU beds. This will also be increased. In the three central government hospitals, 45 beds will be added.”

Paul also confirmed that 35-40 BiPAP machines have been provided according to the request made by the Delhi government. “We will provide more as per the request,” he said.

On testing, Paul said 10 mobile laboratories will set up in the capital to further augment the capacity. “Five of them will arrive in the four days,” he said.

He said surveillance will also be conducted in vulnerable pockets outside containment zones. “Beyond containment zone, we see some vulnerable pockets… a massive house-to house surveillance will be undertaken. From 1,000 teams, it will be augmented to 7,000-8,000 teams,” Paul said.

Paul said that from the current 25,000 capacity, the home care monitoring facility for mild patients will be ramped up to 40,000 active cases. “Till now home care was given to 25,000 active cases. In the next few days, there is a possibility that if the number increases, a decision has been taken that the support system for home care will be ramped up. The plan is to provide home care 40,000 active cases,” he said.

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