Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said a few private hospitals, which are unable to reserve 20% beds for the treatment of patients, will be fully converted into Covid facilities. He added that the entire focus of the Delhi government is on saving lives amid a rise in cases.

“Till now five government hospitals and three private hospitals have been declared fully Covid-19 hospitals,” Sisodia said during a media briefing, where Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain was present. “Additionally, 61 private hospitals have earmarked 20% of their bed capacity for the coronavirus patients. Many have followed our order, but some hospitals are facing problems in reserving 20% beds, fearing it will lead [to a] mix of patients. It has been conveyed to the hospitals that if they are facing trouble in reserving the beds, then the entire hospital will be converted into a Covid-19 hospital.”

Three more private hospitals – Moolchand, Sir Ganga Ram and Saroj Super Speciality – have been converted fully for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Delhi on Wednesday, Sisodia said.

The deputy chief minister said the government is making sure that patients in the moderate and severe categories get immediate healthcare. “Those who are asymptomatic and have mild symptoms do not require hospitalisation,” Sisodia added. “The hospitals are needed for the patients who are critical.”

Meanwhile, Jain said that only those with moderate or severe symptoms like difficulty in breathing and drop in oxygen levels need to be admitted in hospitals. “Fever and coughing would fall under mild symptoms,” he added. “If a person’s breathing rate is more than 15 counts in a minute, it indicates moderate coronavirus infection, whereas over 30 breathing counts in a minute would fall into the severe category.”

Delhi has so far recorded 23,645 coronavirus cases and 606 deaths, according to figures from the Union Health Ministry. Of these, 9,542 have recovered from the infection.