Delhi will require 80,000 beds by July end if COVID-19 cases continue to increase: LG Baijal

New Delhi [India], June 9 (ANI): Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal on Tuesday said that the national capital will require 80,000 beds by the end of July if the surge in COVID-19 cases continues.

Baijal made the comments after he chaired a meeting of all political parties to discuss the present situation of COVID-19 in the national capital.

"As per review in today's SDMA meeting, I was informed that Delhi will have a total number of 13,771 beds by June 15. If the current trend continues, we will be requiring 80,000 beds by the end of July. That requires a very fast ramp-up. In today's meeting, I have given directions to identify areas where we can have large makeshift facilities, for example Pragati Maidan, IGI, Thyagaraj Stadium, Jawaharlal Nehru stadium etc," Baijal told ANI.

The LG said that as chairperson of Delhi Disaster Management Authority, he has been periodically reviewing the national capital's plan to fight COVID-19.

"We had constituted two expert committees to forecast possible scenarios and requirements of medical infrastructure to contain the pandemic," he said.

"Our plan is to utilise banquet halls, marriage halls etc to ramp up facilities. The key thing to remember that most of the patients require oxygenated beds rather than ICU. My instructions to all concerned in SDMA are to provide facility as per possible scenarios," he added.

Asked about the action plan as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Baijal said, "We are also exploring additional options like linking hotels with hospitals, utilising bed capacity of private hospitals and adding more beds in government hospitals. We are working closely with the central government and its agencies and they were also present in the meeting today."

The LG said that all steps will be taken to ensure that everyone in Delhi who requires medical care would be attended to.

Baijal said that he was forced to strike down the order of the Arvind Kejriwal government, reserving hospitals in the national capital for city residents, as it violated constitutional right to equality and right to life which includes right to health.

"The order violated constitutional right to equality and right to life which includes right to health. Earlier also, a similar order of Delhi government was struck down by the High Court on the ground that no citizen of India can be discriminated on the grounds of residence," he said. (ANI)