Two thousand beds in private hospitals in Delhi will be available from today for coronavirus patients, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said this afternoon, stressing that 117 private hospitals in the city have been told to reserve 20 per cent of the beds for those seeking treatment for the highly contagious disease. The national capital, which has the fourth highest coronavirus cases in India, recorded a jump of 3,500 new patients in a week after the lockdown was relaxed for the fourth phase, the Chief Minister said, adding that it is "not a matter of worry".
"Our government on Sunday ordered 117 private hospitals in the city to reserve 20 per cent of their beds for coronavirus patients. Now, 2,000 beds are available in private sector from today," Arvind Kejriwal said this afternoon while addressing reporters via video conference.
In a warning to the private hospitals, Mr Kejriwal said that coronavirus patients "can't be turned away". "Two days back I got to know that a private hospital had turned away a patient who tested positive for coronavirus. No hospital can do this. We have sent them a show-cause notice. If a patient tests positive in a hospital, it's the hospital's responsibility to arrange an ambulance and a bed for him," the 51-year-old Aam Aami Party (AAP) chief said today.
A few days back, a pvt hospital in Delhi asked a patient's family to find a COVID bed for themselves. This is an unreasonable expectation. We've initiated action against this particular hospital— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 25, 2020
Hospitals must transfer such patients to COVID hospitals using their own ambulance. pic.twitter.com/AF2N7XRmzA
A jump in the COVID-19 count in the city-state in the last one week should not be a "matter of worry", he added.
"Last week, several relaxations were made. In the last one week, 3,500 cases have been registered. However, only 250 hospital beds were occupied. While a jump in the COVID-19 count has been observed, it should not be a matter of worry. I would be worried in two scenarios - if there is a jump in the number of deaths or if there are severe cases that can collapse the healthcare system, leading to shortages of hospital beds," Mr Kejriwal said, adding that the "situation (in Delhi) is under control" amid fight against the virus.
"I have been repeating... coronavirus is here to stay. It won't vanish in a day. We have to learn to live with it," he repeated today.
Delhi has logged 13,418 cases since the pandemic began. Of these, nearly 50 per cent of the patients have recovered. A majority of patients are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, Mr Kejriwal said today, underlining that around 3,314 patients are being treated at home at present.
The city has a total of 4,500 beds in private and state-run hospitals to tackle the outbreak.
"One of the challenges patients are facing is finding a hospital bed. We are trying to set up a system that will help overcome the problem," he said.