Government hospitals and some private hospitals of Delhi will be reserved only for residents of the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, amid a huge controversy over availability of beds. At the same time, he said that Delhi will unseal its borders, which were sealed in the first place "thinking that our hospitals will be flooded with people from other states". From tomorrow, the borders will be opened, the Chief Minister added.
The number of coronavirus patients in the city has been on the rise over the last week, registering a jump of more than a thousand patients each day. The total in the national capital has now crossed 27,000.
"For now, we have decided that the 10,000 beds under the Delhi government will be kept for residents. The beds under the Central government can be used by all. Private hospitals covering special treatment will be opened to all," the Chief Minister said.
The decision, Mr Kejriwal said, was made on the advice of a special five-member committee of doctors formed. The committee has estimated that by the end of June, Delhi will need 15,000 beds, the Chief Minister said at a virtual press conference today.
"They believe that the 9,000 beds that are currently with us will be taken over in three days if we allow people from other states to take admission," Mr Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister had also sought suggestions from the people after a reported no availability of beds in hospitals. Many others were turned away by hospitals, which said they were over-run with patients.
The Delhi government had earlier blamed laboratories, saying they were testing asymptomatic patients, and hospitals for admitting them. Mr Kejriwal had also said a "black-marketing of hospital beds" was on.