Delhi will have additional 1,200 ICU beds by May 10, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday, terming the current wave of COVID-19 as dangerous and contagious.
He said that a 500 ICU bed-facility will come up at Ramlila Maidan — one of the biggest grounds in the national capital — while another facility having similar capacity will be set up near city’s GTB Hospital.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister visited both the sites to take stock of preparations with Health Minister Satyendar Jain and senior officers.
He said 200 ICU beds are also being readied at Radha Soami Satsang Beas in Delhi’s Chhatarpur area.
“It has been noticed that the current wave is particularly dangerous. It is supremely contagious and those who are contracting it are not able to recover as swiftly as was noticed in the previous wave,” Mr Kejriwal said in an online media briefing.
In these conditions, ICU wards are in great demand, he said, adding that despite best efforts, it is becoming difficult to create more ICU beds in the national capital.
All hospitals at this point are running over and above their real capacity, beds are full, including ICU beds, the Chief Minister added.
On Monday, Delhi recorded the highest single-day rise in its COVID-19 death count with 380 more people dying due to the infection, while the positivity rate stood at over 35 per cent
This was the fifth consecutive day that Delhi has recorded over 300 deaths due to coronavirus.
Addressing the online media briefing on Tuesday, Mr Kerjriwal said that these 1,200 ICU beds will be ready by May 10.
“I believe they will relieve the load from the hospitals and aid the people of Delhi. We are continuously working towards increasing the health capacities of the state and ensuring help reaches the person who needs it,” he said.
The chief minister said the AAP government was working hand in hand with everyone — the central government, state governments, industrialists, social and religious organisations and others
“I believe that by working together, we will be able to defeat this second wave as well,” he said.
During the briefing, he said that his government will import 18 cryogenic tankers from Thailand and 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France.
He said the situation has improved significantly in the past two days after the chaos witnessed last week due to oxygen shortage.
Due to a shortage of tankers, the Delhi government was also facing problems in transporting its oxygen quota decided by the Centre, the chief minister added.