Delhi's 5-Star Taj Mansingh Hotel will now be attached with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital to help the city deal with the surging coronavirus cases. The administration issued orders today under which the hotel will have the responsibility of providing rooms and food to the patients. It will also be in charge of the housekeeping duties. The hospital will compensate for the shortage of staff in the hotel and will be in charge of treatment and providing ambulance services.
The patients will have to pay the hospital, which will then reimburse the hotel.
According to the government's decision, the room rent in a five-star hotel will be Rs 5,000 a day. Besides, a maximum of Rs 5,000 a day can be charged for medical services which will be all-inclusive except for oxygen. An extra Rs 2,000 can be charged per day for provision of the oxygen cylinders.
Under the government's new rules, the Taj Mansingh staff will be provided protective gear and basic training. If the hospital prefers, its doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff can stay in the hotel, but the hospital will have to bear the cost.
Other premium hotels like The Surya Hotel and Crowne Plaza too have also been drawn into COVID-19 duty. While Hotel Taj Mansingh will be attached to Sir Gangaram Hospital , The Surya hotel will be attached to Holy Family Hospital and Crowne Plaza hotel to Batra Hospital. Altogether, the Delhi government has attached a total of 40 hotels to different hospitals, which will lead to an addition of 4,000 beds
The decision to attach hotels to hospitals was taken by the Delhi government in view of the acute shortage of beds in the city, which, the government says, expects to have 5.5 lakh coronavirus cases by the end of July. By then, Delhi will need 80,000 beds of which it now has a small fraction.
On Sunday, after a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Delhi will be given 500 railway coaches to address the shortage of beds. Fifty of these coaches have already been provided, stationed at east Delhi's Anand Vihar railway station.
On Sunday and Monday, Mr Shah held a series of meetings to review the national capital's preparedness for the virus. The move came after the Supreme Court pulled up Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Bengal over the handling of the outbreak.
"COVID-19 patients are treated worse than animals. In one case, a body was found in the garbage. Patients are dying and nobody is there to even attend to them," the Supreme Court said. The situation in Delhi, it said, was "horrendous, horrific and pathetic".