The Arvind Kejriwal government on Tuesday directed 22 private hospitals in Delhi to reserve more than 20% beds for the treatment of coronavirus patients. Delhi, one of the hotspots, has over 31,000 cases so far. It is expected to climb to more than 5 lakh by the end of July, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters hours before the new order. By then it will need 80,000 beds to tackle the escalating health crisis.

The Delhi government has added 2,015 extra beds after consulting private hospitals. With this, the number of beds in private hospitals of the city has gone up from 1,441 to 3,256.

“It is decided in consultation with the 22 private hospitals to allocate more than 20% beds for treatment of Covid-19,” the order said. “Accordingly, MSs [medical superintendents] of these hospitals are directed to admit Covid-19 patients as per revised allocation of beds and update data on ‘Delhi Corona’ app with immediate effect.”

The 22 hospitals include three branches of Fortis hospitals and four of Max hospitals. Apollo, Batra, BL Kapoor, Maharaja Agrasen, Shanti Mukand, Manipal, Holy Family, St Stephens, Park Hospital and Venkateswara and Manipal are also among those asked to increase their bed capacity.

The Aam Aadmi Party has repeatedly claimed that there was no shortage of beds for coronavirus patients in Delhi. But relatives of several patients have told that they were unable to get beds in hospitals across the national Capital as authorities cited a shortage. They also said that the information on the “Delhi Corona” app – meant to display the availability of beds at both private and government hospitals in the city – does not tally with position on the ground. Harrowing accounts of people struggling to get a bed has also emerged.

The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi rose to 31,309 on Tuesday after 1,366 new infections. Over 900 people have died so far in the national Capital.