Sisodia says Delhi govt’s entire focus is on saving lives

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NEW DELHI, June 4 (AGENCIES): The Delhi government’s entire focus is on saving people’s lives and ensuring adequate facilities for COVID-19 patients who need hospital care, without getting entangled in data or any competition with other states, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday.

He said private hospitals that have been asked by the government to reserve 20 per cent beds for coronavirus patients will be converted into dedicated COVID-19 facilities if they fail to comply with the order by Friday.

Earlier, the Delhi government had asked 61 private hospitals to reserve 20 per cent beds for COVID-19 patients. In a joint virtual press conference with Delhi Heath Minister Satyendar Jain, Sisodia also urged people who are infected with coronavirus but asymptomatic to remain at home and isolate themselves.

Sisodia said, “We already have our dedicated COVID-19 facilities. Three more private hospitals were added yesterday (Wednesday). And if those private hospitals with mixed use (20 per cent reserved beds) are facing logistics issues, then they will be fully converted into dedicated COVID-19 facilities.”

He said private hospitals have time till Friday to reserve beds for coronavirus patients.

The idea behind the move is to make sure that no hospital refuses to treat patients suffering from coronavirus, the deputy chief minister said.

“We do not have to get into data or any competition with other states, our focus is to save the lives of the people. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also believes that our attention should be more on helping people recover by providing them with proper medical facilities,” Sisodia said.

He said COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Delhi and the government has started focusing on ensuring that those who need hospitalisation get beds and proper treatment facilities.

Five government and three private hospitals — Moolchand Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Saroj Super Speciality Hospital — are dedicated COVID-19 facilities.

Many private hospitals have followed the instructions to start the mixed system, but others are facing problems in complying with them, Sisodia said.

The government has asked asymptomatic patients not to be scared and rush to hospital. Home isolation is a very good option for patients with no or very mild symptoms, he said.

Jain said asymptomatic patients with no or very mild symptoms — slight fever and mild cough —  can be treated and recover in home quarantine.

Patients with moderate (respiratory rate of more than 15 per minute and oxygen level below 94 per cent) and severe symptoms (respiratory rate of more than 30 per minute and oxygen level below 90 per cent) require hospitalisation, he added. A record single-day jump of 1,513 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday took Delhi’s tally to 23,645, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 606, authorities said.

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