One such centre in each constituency, says official

Anticipating a further spike in COVID-19 cases, the Delhi government has moved a proposal to instruct all 11 District Magistrates (DM) in the city to identify schools and other buildings in their areas which can be converted into COVID Health Care Centres (CHCCs), a government official told The Hindu.

“The government has initiated a proposal for this and is expected to issue an order in a day. Each DM will be asked to start these facilities with 50 beds first, with an option to increase the numbers in future,” the official said. These centres will be linked to different hospitals in the city.

There is no clarity at this point on whether these facilities will have oxygen beds or not.

“It has been discussed to identify one school or government building in each Assembly constituency to be converted into a COVID Care Centre (CCC) but we are yet to receive any official order. At this point, we do not need these beds but it is being done to deal with a situation where the number of new cases will be extremely high,” a district official said.

Beds for isolation

He said that CCCs, as per the guidelines, do not have oxygen beds and they just facilitate isolation of people who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. The government had taken a similar step during the second wave of the pandemic.

The government is currently focusing on making sure that there are enough beds for any emergency situation, an official source said. “There are predictions by different experts about the number of daily cases Delhi could see, ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 new cases per 10 lakh population. It is difficult to say which prediction is accurate,” the source said.

This translates to up to 1 lakh new COVID-19 cases a day considering Delhi’s population.

On Wednesday, The Hindu had reported that IIT Kanpur has informed the Delhi government that the current wave of the pandemic would peak around January 20 in the city with 50,000 daily new cases if no restrictions are imposed.

Till now, the highest number of daily cases reported in Delhi is 28,325, recorded on April 20, 2021, during the second wave of the pandemic.

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