The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on Sunday ordered to set up 20,000 new beds for coronavirus patients in the national Capital within a week, ANI reported. There will be 11,000 beds in banquets halls, 5,000 in nursing homes and 4,000 in hotels.

This came amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Capital. Delhi is one of the worst-hit states during the pandemic with 38,958 cases and 1,271 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The Delhi government on Saturday said that small and medium multi-specialty nursing homes in the city with a capacity of 10 to 49 beds have been declared as “Covid nursing homes”, PTI reported.

“In order to avoid intermingling of Covid and non-Covid patients in small and medium multi-specialty nursing homes [10 bedded to 49 bedded] and also to augment the bed capacity for Covid-19 patients, all nursing homes in NCT [National Capital Territory] of Delhi having bed strength of 10 beds or more up to 49 beds are declared as Covid nursing homes,” the order read.

However, the government exempted standalone exclusive eye centres, ENT centres, dialysis centres, maternity homes and in vitro fertilisation centres.

The government said the nursing homes have to ensure that the Covid beds are ready within three days of the order, else it will “initiate action against the defaulter”. It said that if the nursing homes failed to comply with the other, it would be a violation of Clause 14.1 of the schedule appended to Rule 14 of the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration (Amendment) Rules, 2011. According to this clause, during a natural calamity, the nursing home has to provide reasonable assistance and medical aid that is essential to the patient.

On June 9, the Aam Aadmi Party government directed 22 private hospitals in Delhi to reserve more than 20% beds for the treatment of coronavirus patients. This came after Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Capital is expected to have 5.5 lakh cases by the end of July 31.

Last week, Kejriwal had said that till July 31, the city will need over 1.5 lakh beds for people coming from other states for treatment.

On June 10, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal directed Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev in a circular to ensure that all major hospitals, clinics and nursing homes in the national Capital display the availability of beds, for both Covid-19 and ordinary patients, on large LED screens outside their establishments. He also asked the state health department to ensure that the data displayed on the screens is the same as provided on the government app “Delhi Corona”.

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.

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