"Close To 5,000 Beds Vacant": Delhi Government Dismisses COVID-19 Alarm

Delhi Health Minister said the reports about a shortage of beds at COVID-19 hospitals in the city were "misleading".

Delhi recorded 1,330 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total past 26,000.

New Delhi:

There is no shortage of beds for coronavirus patients in Delhi and nearly 5,000 are still available, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government said on Friday, refuting reports that the capital's hospitals are turning back people affected by the deadly disease.

"There are some misleading reports that there is shortage of beds for corona patients in Delhi because a few private hospitals are refusing admissions. The truth is, there is absolutely no shortage of beds in Delhi at the moment," Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said in a statement.

"In the last three days, more than 1,000 patients have been admitted to various hospitals in Delhi. If beds were not available, this would have not been possible. Even now we have close to 5,000 vacant beds," he added.

The AAP leader said the "issue" was that some hospitals are not updating the data on the Delhi government's coronavirus tracking application on time or misrepresenting actual data when patients call.

"Patients were not getting data on hospitals before, which the Delhi Corona app is trying to fix. We are making hospital bed data live and real time soon," Mr Jain added.

The government's clarification comes amid reports of a number of coronavirus patients and their families in the capital complaining that they were denied treatment on time as COVID-19 cases in the city crossed the 26,000 mark.

Responding to the reports, the Delhi government on Thursday had also issued new rules for treating coronavirus patients, fixing accountability and setting time limits for medical procedures.

Delhi recorded 1,330 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday while the number of deaths due to COVID-19 jumped to 708, authorities said. The highest spike in new cases - 1,513 - was recorded on June 3.