The Delhi government will launch an app to help track hospital beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Monday.
The app comes amid a worrying spike in coronavirus cases in the national capital; Delhi has reported nearly 20,000 cases so far, with more than 1,000 fresh infections reported over four consecutive 24-hour periods, as of Sunday evening.
During an online briefing on the coronavirus situation - his second in three days - Mr Kejriwal said the increase in cases was cause for concern but Delhi residents need not panic, as his government was "four steps ahead of the coronavirus".
"Around three-four days ago I said 9,500 beds will be arranged till June 5. We have around 2,300 patients currently. You will get to know the number of available beds and ventilators in the hospitals here via an app. We will launch the app tomorrow," Mr Kejriwal said today.
The Delhi government has scaled up hospital infrastructure in the past weeks, Mr Kejriwal said, pointing out that beds for COVID-19 patients were set to increase from 4,500 to 9,500 by the end of the week.
There are nearly 10,000 active coronavirus cases in Delhi, of which, the Chief Minister said last week, only 2,300 were in hospitals; the rest are "recovering at their homes", he said.
"I can guarantee, as your Chief Minister, there will be a bed if you or someone in your family is infected," he added; his comments echoed those he made on Saturday, when he said, "We are making plenty of arrangements that are much more than the requirements".
Also on Monday, Mr Kejriwal said Delhi had sealed its borders, including those with Uttar Pradesh's Noida and Ghaziabad and Haryana's Gurgaon, for a week, in order to give hospitals in the city time to come to grips with the coronavirus crisis.
He said that while city hospitals had a duty to care for all people, medical facilities would temporarily be "reserved for the people of Delhi".
On Saturday Mr Kejriwal said Delhi would have to learn to live with the novel coronavirus for the foreseeable future. He also said that a permanent state of lockdown was "no solution" and his government would re-open economic activities "with all precautions".
The centre, which Sunday evening extended the nationwide lockdown to June 30, also has an app - Aarogya Setu, a contact-tracing app made mandatory for rail and air travellers, as well as private company employees commuting to work and all central government staff members.
Like Delhi, India has also seen a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases since May 21, with each day adding over 6,000 new infections to the tally; over 8,000 have been reported in the past two consecutive 24-hour periods. The country now has more than 1.9 lakh cases and is the seventh worst-affected in the world.
With input from ANI