In view of declining COVID-19 cases, the Delhi government has reduced the bed-strength reserved for coronavirus patients in 108 private hospitals of the city, barring five big facilities.
At these hospitals, 80 per cent of all beds will continue to remain reserved for Covid. They are Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital (Saket); Fortis Super Speciality Hospital (Vasant Kunj); Saroj Super Speciality Hospital (Rohini), Maha Durga Charitable Trust Hospital (Model Town), and Sir Ganga Ram City Hospital (Pusa).
However, the Delhi government has said these hospitals will have an option to increase the number of Covid beds if they so desire.
Earlier on Thursday, Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said that the government has also decided to resume Out-Patient Department (OPD) services in its two largest Covid-only hospitals.
The OPD services in 2,000-bed Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital and 1,500-bed Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) were suspended in March after Coronavirus cases started rising in the city, which was then among its worst-hit.
Now, after a decline in its third and most severe wave yet of coronavirus infections since October-end, daily cases in the city have dropped to under 1,000.
Delhi has been recording around 700 cases for the last two days with around 20 deaths, government data shows.
"We have conducted 84,000 tests in the last 24 hours and the positivity rate was 0.8 per cent; only eight out of 1,000 people tested have been found positive. This rate was 15.26 per cent on November 7," said Mr Jain, who had earlier thanked citizens for wearing masks and following Covid safety rules.
However, the emergence of the "70 per cent more infectious" UK strain in Delhi threatens to undo this progress, which has been mirroring nationally. The city has eight of the 25 UK Covid cases in the country.
"Flights (from UK) have been closed now. Those who had arrived earlier (in the past month) are being traced and tested in a doorstep exercise. There is no reason to worry," Mr Jain said, adding the state government is fully ready to start vaccinating people.
The centre has said a vaccine may be approved within days and plans to conduct a pan-India mock drill on January 2.
For the last three days, India, which has 1.02 crore Covid cases and 1.48 related deaths, has been logging its lowest daily infections at an average of 20,000 with under 300 deaths for three days.