Amid falling Covid cases and the positivity rate consistently below 1% in the Capital, the Delhi government has decided to shut two 500 bed Covid care centers (CCC) — at two Ramlila maidans near Delhi Gate and GTB hospital — which, among others, catered to hundreds of international passengers arriving in Delhi during the Omicron-fuelled third wave in the city.
As on Sunday, just two Covid-19 care center beds were occupied in Delhi, showed state government data.
“In view of decrease in positivity rate of Covid-19 cases in Delhi and sufficient Covid bed availability, the competent authority has approved to close the Covid care centers which were set up at the main Ramlila Ground, Delhi Gate (near Lok Nayak Hospital) and Ram Lila Ground near GTB Hospital,” said an order issued by the health department on Thursday.
These Covid care centers were set up on April 29 last year when the second Covid-19 wave overwhelmed the available health infrastructure.
Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital to which the Covid care center at the main Ram Lila Maidan was linked, said over 1,000 patients were admitted at the facility during the last wave. “As the number of patients started increasing during the Omicron wave, people who tested positive upon arrival at the Delhi airport but had only mild symptoms were brought to this center and most of them recovered in a week days and went home from there. It was fully air-conditioned and each bed was equipped with oxygen supply. The 500-bed facility was set up in just 15 days and was inaugurated by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal,” said Dr Kumar.
Kumar added that only two Covid patients are currently admitted at Lok Nayak Hospital, where over 500 beds are reserved for such patients.
A health department official said that the two CCCs were shut down because they did not have any patient for the last several days.
The number of daily Covid cases and positivity rate have been consistently going down in the Capital for the past few weeks.
On Sunday, Delhi reported 249 fresh Covid cases at a positivity rate of 0.59%. Over 99% of the 10,642 beds in dedicated Covid hospitals and 99.9% of 2,123 beds in Covid care centers were lying vacant as on Sunday.
Meanwhile, on February 23, the Delhi government issued an order reducing Covid beds in hospitals from 5,650 to 2,915, and ICU beds from 2,075 to 525.
Among the eight CCCs in the Capital then, operations at the Sant Nirankari one was nearly closed as it removed the 500 beds at the facility. At the Sardar Patel centre, it reduced from 1,000 to 500, and at the CWG Complex CCC and Yamuna Sports Complex, it was brought down from 400 to 200. These facilities were reactivated in January after a rise in cases.