Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that Delhi should prepare for the third wave of COVID-19 and exuded confidence that given the scale at which the city is creating infrastructure, it will be able to handle even 30,000 cases a day. He said he hoped that the peak of the second wave of the pandemic in Delhi has passed. However, no concessions can be allowed just yet.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a visit to a 500-bed ICU COVID care centre near the GTB Hospital here on the eve of its opening, Kejriwal said he hoped the scarcity of intensive care facilities in the city will be reduced in the coming days.
The Delhi government is developing healthcare infrastructure in the city keeping in mind the possibility of the third wave of COVID-19.
“We should certainly prepare for the third wave, for which we will have to further expand our infrastructure. Given the scale at which we are creating infrastructure, we will be able to manage even if 30,000 (daily) cases come up in the next wave,” Kejriwal said.
“I hope the peak (of the second wave of COVID-19) has passed. I hope the cases go down in the coming days but being in the government and as the chief minister of Delhi, I would not want to give any concessions,” he said.
To check the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi, the AAP government on Monday extended the lockdown in the city till May 17 morning, announcing stricter measures like suspension of Metro train services and prohibition of wedding ceremonies at public places.
Kejriwal, who was accompanied by Health Minister Satyendar Jain, said the 500 ICU-bed COVID care centre attached to the GTB hospital will be ready for use by May 11. Another 500 ICU-bed facility near the LNJP Hospital at the main Ramlila ground will also be ready soon.
“We hope that these 1,000 beds in Delhi will reduce the scarcity of ICU beds,” he said.
The government wants to be ready to handle the situation if the cases start rising again, he added
Later, Kejriwal tweeted, “500 ICU beds have been constructed in two weeks at Ramlila Maidan opp(osite) GTB hospital. Patients will be admitted from tomorrow. My heartfelt gratitude to all the engineers who made it happen in record time.”
Citing the ferocity of the second wave of the pandemic, Kejriwal said the number of oxygen beds, too, is being scaled up in the city.
“By this evening, we expect to receive 1,000 oxygen cylinders and in the next three-four days, we expect additional oxygen cylinders to arrive. We are setting up new oxygen beds across the city and hope that Delhi will no longer have a shortage of beds,” he said.
He also said that oxygen tanks have been installed to reduce the scarcity of the life-saving gas in the city.
Kejriwal appealed to the Centre to provide Delhi with an adequate number of COVID-19 vaccine doses at the earliest and said the city’s current stock would only last for four-five days.
He said the Delhi government has also placed orders with vaccine manufacturers.