The Delhi government has decided that it will allocate beds in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police's hospital in the national capital's Chhatarpur area. The Covid facility with 500 oxygen-supported beds began functioning on Monday. Over 120 patients got admitted on the first day. As of now, only Delhi residents are being admitted to the facility.
There would be no walk-in admissions.
"Admission at this centre will be made after approval by district surveillance officers in Delhi. The Delhi government officers decide who needs to be admitted," an official said.
"ITBP is only providing medical facilities regarding the functioning of the facility; everything is being done by the Delhi administration," a senior functionary in the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
The Covid centre has more facilities than last time, the official said.
"Last time it was a Covid care centre and patients were admitted even as they walked in. But this time due to the surge, the numbers are very high, so the mechanism has been tweaked and only those who are being referred by the administration are being admitted," he explained.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had requested the ministry for assistance amid the surge.
"In all, a staff of 200 is working round the clock. Sixty are doctors and 125 are paramedic staff and nurses and the rest are looking after the administration and security of the hospital," explains a senior ITBP officer.
According to him, the capacity of the medical facility will be increased in the coming days. "CM Kejriwal visited the facility and has said that plans are there to have 2,000 beds here," he said.
But on Monday, as the centre opened, many patients lined up at the gates of the facility, but they were denied admission. Some waited in ambulances for a recommendation.
Some patients and their families questioned the rule.
"Is this the time for the administration to engage us in such cumbersome rules," questioned a family member of a Covid-positive patient.
As per protocol, patients have to call the provided phone numbers and give their details. The patients' details will be posted on the group for further approval. Patients will have to give details in a particular format with their names, addresses, contact numbers, oxygen levels and health conditions.
The details will then be assessed by the authorities of the Covid care facility and admissions' in-charge, who will then decide who is eligible for the beds.
Some people say calls on the phone numbers went unanswered.
"The issue is being sorted out. Today was the first day and the process needs to be streamlined about admissions," a senior official told NDTV.
This facility was shut down in February this year as Covid infections declined in the national capital.
The helpline numbers are: 011-26655547/48/49 and 011-26655949/69.