The Delhi government on Saturday (June 13) declared small and medium multispeciality nursing homes having 10 to 49 beds as “COVID nursing homes” to increase the bed capacity for coronavirus patients, according to an official order.
Only standalone exclusive eye centres, ENT centres, dialysis centres, maternity homes, and IVF centres are presently exempted, the order said.
This move is expected to add 5,000 more beds to the current available number.
“In order to avoid intermingling of COVID and non-COVID patients in small and medium multispeciality nursing homes (10 bedded to 49 bedded) and also to augment the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, all nursing homes in NCT of Delhi having bed strength of 10 beds or more up to 49 beds are declared as COVID nursing homes,” it said.
All such nursing homes (10 bedded to 49 bedded) are required to make their COVID beds functional within three days of the issuance of the order failing which it would be treated as violation of Clause 14.1 of the schedule appended to Rule 14 of the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration (Amendment) Rules, 2011, it said.
It added that “action, as deemed fit, would be initiated against the defaulter nursing home”.
According to Clause 14.1, in the event of any natural calamity, including outbreak and epidemics or disaster, the owner or the keeper of every nursing home shall, on being directed by the supervising authority in writing, co-operate and provide reasonable assistance and medical aid as may be considered essential by the supervising authority at the time of natural calamity.
The government on May 24 had directed 117 nursing homes/private hospitals having bed strength of 50 beds or more to reserve/earmark at least 20 per cent of their total bed strength for COVID-19 patients.
The occupancy of the beds earmarked for COVID patients is displayed on a real-time basis on the Delhi Corona App. More than 70 per cent COVID beds in the private sector are already occupied.
Further, it is projected that there would be a requirement of over 15,000 COVID beds till June 30 and by the end of first fortnight of July, the requirement would further swell up to more than 33,000 COVID beds.
In order to meet the increasing demand for hospital beds, the Delhi government is also planning to add 20,000 beds in the hotels and banquet halls of New Delhi over the next week.
Sources told NDTV that at least 11,000 beds will be arranged at 80 banquet halls, and that these beds will be attached to nursing homes. Similarly, around 4,000 beds will be set up at 40 hotels and will be attached to private hospitals in the city.
(With inputs from agencies)