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500 railway coaches to Delhi for COVID-19 patients; testing to be tripled: Shah after meeting Kejriwal

‘Extremely productive meeting between Delhi government and Centre. Many key decisions taken. We will fight against corona together,’ tweeted CM Kejriwal after the meeting.

SNS | New Delhi |

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, after meeting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday that Centre will immediately give 500 railway coaches equipped with facilities for Coronavirus patients to tackle the shortage of beds in COVID-19 hospitals in the national capital, as well as help the Kejriwal government to increase  COVID-19 testing.

Shah and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and CM Kejriwal and members of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) today morning to review the Coronavirus situation in the national capital.

The meeting comes in the wake of spike in Coronavirus cases and deaths at an alarming rate in Delhi.

“Extremely productive meeting between Delhi government and Centre. Many key decisions taken. We will fight against corona together,” tweeted CM Kejriwal after the meeting.

Testing for COVID-19 will be  doubled in the next couple of days in Delhi and in 6 days it will be increased three times of the current rate, said the Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the meeting.  The national capital saw a drop in testing from 7,000 to 5,000 per day and reprimanded by Supreme Court for the same on Friday.

“Today, several important decisions were taken to protect people of Delhi and  to prevent this infection, in the meeting held with Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Delhi LG Anil Baijal and CM Arvind Kejriwal, ” tweeted Shah.

“In view of shortage of beds for Corona infected patients in Delhi, the Modi government at the Center has decided to immediately give 500 railway coaches to Delhi. These railway coaches will not only increase 8000 beds in Delhi but this coach will be equipped with all facilities to fight the corona infection,” the Home Minister further said in a series of tweets.

Shah also announced that for proper contact mapping in Delhi’s 219 containment zones, a door to door comprehensive health survey of every person will be conducted and the report will come within a week.

Shah also said that Arogya Setu app needs to be downloaded in every person’s mobile.

The Central government is going to supply the necessary resources to the Delhi government including oxygen cylinders, ventilators, and pulse oximeters to fight this epidemic.

Earlier, in the morning, the Delhi government declared that all small and multi-speciality nursing homes with 10-49 beds will now be treated as “COVID-19 nursing homes,” to increase the bed capacity for coronavirus patients.

The Delhi government has said over the coming week, it will add 20,000 beds by utilising the the hotels and banquet halls of the city to fulfill the deficit of the beds for Coronavirus patients in the city.

It also directed all such nursing homes to make their beds available in the next three days.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah had on Thursday taken suo motu cognizance of reports of improper handling of COVID-19 patients and undignified disposal of victims’ bodies in Delhi hospitals.

The bench termed the situation in Delhi as “horrendous, horrific and pathetic” and reproached the Arvind Kejriwal led-government for patients being placed alongside stacks of dead bodies in the hospitals.

On June 8, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had overruled two controversial orders of the Arvind Kejriwal government on reserving Delhi government-run and private hospitals in the national capital for Delhiites and allowing COVID-19 test for only symptomatic patients.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Sunday informed that for now Delhi hospitals will be available only for the residents of the city. At the same time, he clarified that hospitals run by the Centre will have no such restriction, and if people from other states come to the national capital for specific surgeries, they can get medical treatment at private hospitals.

He also said private hospitals, except those where surgeries like neurosurgery, are performed would also be kept reserved for Delhi residents.

He had justified the decision on hospitals citing the report of a panel which stated that Delhi will need 15,000 beds by the end of June and if people of other states are allowed to get treatment, all beds here will be occupied within just three days.

However, Lt. Governor Anil Baijal overruled the order saying, “treatment should not be denied to any patient on grounds of being a non-resident”.

Delhi has seen a spurt in Coronavirus cases and over 1,000 new cases daily for the past few days. It is the third worst-hit state with 36,824 infections and 1,214 deaths.