India Scrambles to add Beds as COVID-19 Hospitals Overflow in Delhi

The government of India’s capital city, New Delhi, is commissioning hotels, banquet halls, small nursing homes and railway coaches as COVID-19 facilities as they try to add at least 20,000 more beds within the week.

With 311 deaths within 24 hours, India recorded the highest single-day spike of 11,929 new cases. But recoveries continue to outnumber the rise in active cases. The country has 320,922 confirmed cases with 149,348 active cases, indicating a recovery rate of 50.59%.

Delhi, the third worst-affected in the country, issued guidelines to multispecialty nursing homes with 10 to 49 beds, to start taking in Coronavirus patients within the next three days. They recorded more than 2,000 cases for the second consecutive day on Saturday.

The government plans to add 4,000 hotel beds, 11,000 beds at banquet halls, and 5,000 beds through the nursing homes to fulfil a quarter of their 80,000-bed requirement by the end of July. The central government has also provided 500 railway coaches to compensate for the shortage of beds.

Treatment has already started at some hotels-turned hospitals.

Last week, the Delhi government had to rescind its orders to reserve the city’s hospitals only for the people of Delhi.

The country’s highest court also pulled up the government for its negligence in handling hospital patients and the drop in testing rates from 7,000 to 5,000 a day.
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Several other states are testing up to 17,000 samples a day and Maharashtra has also managed to reduce testing costs in private labs by 50%.

At a meeting today, the government decided to start COVID-19 tests at all electoral polling stations which lie in Delhi containment zones.

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