Delhi’s Covid centre, 10 times bigger than China’s largest, to start this week

Delhi’s Covid centre, 10 times bigger than China’s largest, to start this week

Home Minister Amit Shah has roped in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police medical personnel to run India’s biggest facility being set up for Covid patients in south Delhi. The facility, being set up at a Radha Soami Satsang Beas complex in Chattarpur, would be able to accommodate over 10,200 patients.

The Chattarpur facility, the size of 15 football fields, has been named Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre and Hospital.

“This would be 10 times bigger than the field facility for Covid patients that was temporarily set up in China’s Leishenshan to accommodate 1,000 patients,” said a senior Home Ministry official. Back in February, Chinese diplomats had put out a video of the construction of the hospital to showcase what was then considered a feat.

Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier this month asked Lt Governor Anil Baijal to reach out to the voluntary sector to help the Delhi government rapidly expand its capacity to accommodate and treat Covid-19 patients. The spiritual organisation, which had earlier operated camps for migrants at some of its facilities in other parts of the country, was the first one to respond to Lt Governor Baijal’s outreach.

The organisation has told the government that it would be able to provide meals for the patients.

Shah is expected to visit the facility later this week, possibly Thursday, the deadline for officials to operationalise the first 2,000 beds. The remaining beds are targeted to be set up by 3 July.

The facility, an official said, had come to symbolise the growing role played by the Union home minister in scaling up the city’s infrastructure to meet the challenge.

The Delhi government had earlier projected that the city’s Covid count would rise to 1 lakh cases by this month-end that would require about 15,000 beds. AIIMS director Randeep Guleria had later indicated that this model may have overestimated the extent of the spread but backed moves to prep for the worst-case scenario.

Shah, officials said, had asked the ITBP to help staff the Covid centre’s medical personnel. Once the 10,200 beds are operationalised, there would be a requirement for 800 general doctors and 70 specialist doctors apart from nearly 1,400 nurses.