Arvind Kejriwal Demands Army Staff For COVID Centre. Amit Shah Responds

In a letter, he also urged Home Minister Amit Shah to inspect the sprawling COVID-19 treatment centre.

Arvind Kejriwal Demands Army Staff For COVID Centre. Amit Shah Responds

Amit Shah had a meeting on Sunday with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File)

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked the centre to deploy doctors and health staff from the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at the upcoming 10,000-bed coronavirus facility, billed as the world's largest. In a letter, he also urged Home Minister Amit Shah to inspect the sprawling COVID-19 treatment centre.

The Union Minister, in response to Mr Kejriwal, assured the facility will start functioning by June 26.

"Dear Kejriwal Ji, it has already been decided in our meeting 3 days back and the MHA has assigned the work of operating the 10,000-bed COVID Care Centre at Radha Swami Beas in Delhi to ITBP. The work is in full swing and a large part of the facility will be operational by 26th June," he tweeted.

The Delhi government, which is grappling with shortage of COVID-19 beds amid a spurt of coronavirus cases, has been converting the Radha Soami Spiritual Centre into a massive COVID-19 facility. The Chhatarpur centre has a covered area of 12,50,000 square feet, as large as 22 football fields, with preinstalled fans and CCTV cameras. It will have nearly 200 enclosures with 50 beds each.

The facility was being used to shelter migrant workers until recently. Its community kitchens are semi-industrial and can feed thousands of people at a time.

Mr Shah, in a series of tweets, assured the people of Delhi that many more COVID-19 beds will be provided in the coming days.

"I would also like to inform the people of Delhi that a 1,000-bed full-fledged hospital with 250 ICU beds is being developed for Covid patients. DRDO and Tata Trust are building the facility. Armed forces personnel will man it. This Covid Care centre will be ready in next 10 days," he said.

Earlier this month, the Delhi government's decision to reserve COVID-19 beds for residents was overturned by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who represents the centre. Mr Kejriwal had later warned that the national capital will need 1.5 lakh beds by July 31.

Delhi last week overtook Tamil Nadu as the second worst coronavirus-hit state in the country. On Monday, it recorded 2,909 fresh cases, taking the tally in the city over the 62,000-mark.

Mr Shah had a meeting on Sunday with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the coronavirus situation, where it was decided to hold more "robust" contact tracing, revamp the entire containment zone strategy and strengthen medical services in areas most affected by the virus. Every death should be reported to the centre, the Delhi government was told.