Centre forms multi-disciplinary teams to visit private hospitals in Delhi



Ten multi-disciplinary teams were constituted by the Centre on Monday to visit private hospitals in Delhi to see whether they are following COVID-19 protocols, while 75 doctors and 250 paramedics from paramilitary forces were also being sent to the national capital in the wake of the recent spike in cases, officials said.

A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah had stepped-in fight against the pandemic in Delhi, several meetings were held on Monday in different wings of the government here for the smooth implementation of his 12 directives.

Seventy-five doctors and 250 paramedics will join the health workers of Delhi to handle the COVID-19 patients as early as possible, an official privy to the development.

The doctors and paramedics of the paramilitary forces are coming from as far as Assam and Tamil Nadu besides Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, etc.

The newly formed multi-disciplinary teams have been given the task of visiting about 114 private hospitals that have been treating COVID-19 patients.

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According to the terms of reference, the multi-disciplinary teams will look into whether, in the visited private hospitals, the availability of wards and ICU beds are as per the Delhi government orders.

They will also check whether such availability is being displayed on a real-time basis by the hospital through LED and Corona Dashboard of Delhi governments.

They will also see whether private hospitals are thoroughly observing the COVID discharge policy as mandated by the central government.

The other terms of reference include RT-PCR testing capacity, if available; capacity utilised and turnaround time of test report, is the critical patients being referred to other government or private hospitals without ascertaining the availability in those hospitals and if there is any other violation in the treatment protocols.

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Apart from the 10 teams, one additional team has been kept as a reserve.

Arrangements are being made to enhance the number of oxygen beds by strengthening the 10,000 bedded Chhatarpur covid care centre as decided at a high-level meeting chaired by the union home minister on Sunday.

At present, officials said, 10 per cent of the beds at the Sardar Patel COVID care centre are oxygen supported and it is called the dedicated COVID healthcare centre (DCHC).

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, authorities of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the DRDO, the Delhi government and the city's municipal corporations held separate meetings for smooth implementation of the 12 directives given to fight the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in the capital, the officials said.

The arrangements are also being made for the accommodation of the paramilitary doctors and paramedics who will be arriving in Delhi in the next few days.

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The Centre on Sunday announced a slew of steps including making available 300 additional ICU beds, double the number of daily RT-PCR tests and a house-to-house survey in the entire national capital.

As per the decisions, some of the hospitals under the municipal corporations of Delhi will be converted into dedicated COVID hospitals.

The doctors and paramedics of paramilitary forces are being flown in to be deployed in the national capital to deal with the shortage of manpower.

It was the second major intervention by Shah, who had announced several steps in June to check the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital after criticism in different quarters of the Delhi government's handling of the crisis.

Sunday's meeting was convened in view of the rising number of cases in Delhi that is being called the 'third wave' of COVID-19.

Delhi recorded 3,235 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to over 4.85 lakh on Sunday, while ninety-five more fatalities pushed the death toll to 7,614.

Shah had also announced that the RT-PCR tests in Delhi would be doubled and the capacity of the testing laboratories will be enhanced.

Mobile testing vans of the Union Health Ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be deployed in the areas where the COVID-19 threat is high.

Currently, around 18,000 to 19,000 RT-PCR tests are conducted daily in Delhi.

The National Centre for Disease Control, in a report drafted recently, had warned that Delhi needed to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh COVID-19 cases per day, taking into account the winter-related respiratory problems, a large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.