Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said that the city government-run hospitals are “fully equipped” to fight any surge in Covid cases as mock drills were conducted at various medical facilities in the national capital to assess their preparedness to deal with the viral disease.
Mr Sisodia, who also holds the health portfolio, visited the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital around noon to assess the drill, and later told reporters that the Delhi government is “prepared for any kind of emergency”.
“At the LNJP Hospital, there are 2,000 beds and 450 of those are dedicated to COVID-19. If need arises, we can dedicate all 2,000 beds for COVID-19… We can also increase this number by using nearby banquet halls and add an additional 500 beds for COVID-19 fight, so there would no shortage,” he said.
Mr Sisodia said that the availability of medical oxygen at LNJP Hospital has been “increased manifold” as compared to the capacity last time. Five PSA plants have also been installed here, he said.
Delhi government’s hospitals are “fully equipped to fight Covid,” he said, adding, the hospitals and the health directorate of the Delhi government are “fully prepared to fight against the coronavirus”.
A senior official said Sisodia visited the British-era hospital around 12 noon and spent 30-40 minutes to inspect the preparedness of the medical facility, as part of the mock drill.
Many hospitals across the country held mock drills on Tuesday to check preparedness of health facilities to deal with any spurt in COVID-19 cases, with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya saying it was important to gauge operational readiness of equipment and human resources.
The exercise comes in the wake of the Centre issuing an advisory to this effect on Monday amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases in some countries.
In Delhi, besides the LNJP Hospital, the drill was conducted at various other government hospitals like the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital and private hospitals too, including the Apollo hospital in south Delhi.
“Officials from the district administration had visited the hospital on Monday to check our current status as far as medical logistics are concerned. On Tuesday, a mock drill took place to see the time taken for movement from the triage area to admission and other preparedness,” a hospital source told PTI.
Sisodia also asked people not to panic, saying primary data suggests that the new BF.7 sub-strain of the coronavirus, which is causing a surge in infections in other countries, is similar to previous variants.
“Compared to previous times, oxygen availability has increased 10 times, five PSA plants have been set up here. And ventilators are also present. Today, a mock drill was conducted… how patients can be attended to and shifted to desired location within five minutes was observed,” he said.
LNJP Hospital’s Medical Director Suresh Kumar said there was no reason to panic, but people must be vigilant, follow Covid guidelines and take the booster dose of the vaccines.
“In the mock drill, we saw our response time and it was perfect,” he said.
The mock drill assessed bed availability, manpower, referral resources, testing capacity, medical logistics, telemedicine services and medical oxygen availability, among other aspects.
Real-time data on the availability of beds, oxygen cylinders and ventilators will be available for the public on a Delhi government portal from Tuesday, officials had earlier said.
Covid testing is also likely to be ramped up soon. At present, around 2,500 to 3,000 tests are being conducted daily in the city, an official said, the daily capacity is to to conduct one lakh tests.
The national capital currently has 8,200 beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients and if needed, this can be increased to 25,000 and further, to 36,000 beds, the officials said.
Also, 6,000 oxygen cylinders are available in reserve under the Delhi government. “And, there is 928 metric tonne medical oxygen storage capacity,” a statement issued by the office of deputy chief minister said, adding all essential medicines are available in hospitals.
Delhi has recorded over 2,007,000 Covid cases and 26,521 deaths since the pandemic started in early 2020. The number of daily cases has remained below 20 and the positivity rate below 1 percent since mid-November, according to official data.
Referring to the surge in COVID-19 cases in some countries, the Union health ministry on Saturday underlined that it was necessary that requisite public health measures are put in place in all states and Union territories to meet any exigencies.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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