Temporary makeshift hospitals will be needed in the "near future" given the constant rise in the number of coronavirus cases across the country, the Centre told the Supreme Court today. The indication that the existing facilities for coronavirus will not be enough comes as the country logged more than 2 lakh cases of coronavirus and became the seventh of the top 10 nations hit by the disease.
The exponential rise in cases too place amid the world's largest lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March.
But given the crisis in economy triggered by the lockdown, a slow process of relaxation had started in April.
Currently, much of the lockdown curbs have been lifted, depending on the ground situation in states. Bus, rail and air transport have also been restarted in a limited fashion, even though officially, the country is in the fifth phase of the lockdown till the end of this month.
Today, asked by the top court to respond to a Public Interest Litigation, the Centre in an affidavit said: "The number of cases of COVID are "constantly increasing and at some point of time in near future, apart from existing hospitals, a large number of temporary make-shift hospitals will have to be created in order to accommodate COVID-19 patients requiring admission, medical care and treatment."
In the affidavit, the Centre also said it would create an "optimum infrastructure" and "adequately address human resource issue for this envisaged surge capacity scenario".
National capital Delhi is already expanding its infrastructure for coronavirus. Today, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendra Jain ordered that 20 per cent beds in 61 hospitals be reserved for coronavirus patients.
So far, five government hospitals and three private hospitals have been turned into dedicated coronavirus centres. Yesterday, three more private hospitals were ordered to be converted into dedicated facilities, Mr Sisodia said.