Delhi changes its health priorities as the COVID threat recedes.

Delhi government may be planning to scale down infrastructure and staff at Covid Care and Health Centres . The hospitals were established to combat the pandemics peak .

NEW DELHI: With just over 100 new coronavirus-infected patients currently admitted to various city hospitals, the Delhi government may be planning to scale down the infrastructure and staff at the Covid Care and Health Centres, which were established to combat the pandemic's peak.However, the construction of six Delhi government hospitals is scheduled to begin in the next three months.These would increase the amount of hospital beds by 6,848 beds.They are one of the seven Covid hospitals proposed by the government, but with Covid-19 cases decreasing, the hospitals will still provide other specialized medical services.

Although the number of hospitalizations and isolation at treatment facilities during the deadly Delta wave in April 2021 was high, the Omicron infection in December last year and January 2022 was milder.There were fewer hospitalizations and no rise in admissions to Covid Care and Health Centres, either.According to reports, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, which is headed by LG VK Saxena and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as vice-chairman, has given the go-ahead to reduce the number of medical personnel and the infrastructure required for Covid management.According to a poster given by the health department at the DDMA meeting on Thursday, only two Covid care facilities, Ambedkar Nagar Hospital with 50 beds and Balak Ram Hospital with 25 beds, were currently operational.

In the past few months, the Delhi government has already closed down and demolished seven such facilities in various parts of the city, while three larger ones, Radha Soami Satsang Beas in Chhatarpur (2,000 beds) and two in Burari (1,000 beds each), have been closed, but not dismantled.In addition to the existing sanctioned workforce, the Delhi government's hospitals had outsourced up to 25% in terms of sanitation, security, nursing orderlies, and Class-IV staff.Although the demolition of Covid Care Centres will take place in a phased manner, a source said the last extension for contractual employees is set to take place until December 31, according to a source.Last year, the work to upgrade health facilities had begun by constructing hospitals in seven separate locations, which could be used as both ICU and non-ICU beds.

According to Delhi government statistics, a 336-bedded facility at Sarita Vihar would be the first of seven facilities to be completed, with around 60% completion.It is scheduled to open next month.By November, work is planned to be completed at the Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya and Sultanpuri, and by December, at Shalimar Bagh, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, and Raghubir Nagar.On a 2.7-acre plot in Kirari, work is yet to begin on a 458-bed Covid hospital.

The hospitals were supposed to deal with the third wave of Covid-19 cases at a time when Delhi was reeling from the devastating second wave last year.