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All hospitals in Delhi should treat Covid patients, cap fees of private hospitals: Delhi govt demands Centre

In wake of rising concerns over the rapid growth of Covid-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi government on Sunday brought up several measures to combat the crisis to the Centre. The demands raised by the Delhi government included that all hospitals in Delhi should be treating Covid19 patients to increase the capital’s capacity to deal with surge in cases, government sources said.

The government suggested that a committee should be set up to monitor rates of private hospitals in Delhi, according to sources.

This was raised in the review meeting held by Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others, they said.

The meeting was focused on how to tackle the pandemic in Delhi, availability of hospital beds, testing facilities and improvements of other heath infrastructure, a government official said.

The Kejriwal government also demanded that the fees for Covid-19 treatment in private hospitals should be capped, government sources said.

The Delhi government discussed that private labs should conduct Covid-19 test as well and that their rates need to be made affordable and easily available, sources said.

Further, the Delhi government demanded the Centre to deploy 250 to 300 railway coaches in Anand Vihar to handle the surge in cases and overcrowding of Covid patients in hospitals, sources said, adding that this could be increased to 500 coaches.

As for what was decided in the meeting, sources said the Delhi government has ordered setting up 20,000 new Covid-19 beds in the national capital in the next week. Hotels will have 4,000 beds, banquets halls will have 11,000 beds and nursing homes will have 5,000 beds.

The meeting was held in the wake of increasing number of coronavirus cases in Delhi, where the tally has reached nearly 39,000 cases and the death toll rose to over 1,200. The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi is the third highest in the country after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Apart from Shah, Baijal and Kejriwal, those who attended the meeting include Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, members of the State Disaster Management Authority and senior officers from the Home and Health ministries.

The home minister has also called a separate meeting in the evening with the mayors of Delhi’s three municipal corporations — North, South and East — and commissioners of the civic bodies to discuss the coronavirus situation in the capital. The lieutenant governor, chief minister and the Union health minister will also attend the evening meeting.

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