Delhi: 70% work done at Ramlila Maidan’s 500-bed ICU facility, to be ready in a few days

Around 500 labourers work tirelessly to complete the construction of an ICU facility with 500 beds at Ramlila Maidan, which will be linked to Lok Nayak Hospital. Officials said 70% of the work is completed and it should be ready in a few more days.

As Delhi continues to grapple with a high case load and shortage of hospital beds and oxygen, the Delhi government had announced last week that 1,000 ICU beds will come up in grounds near Lok Nayak and GTB hospitals.

On April 29, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain had visited the facility. After the visit, Jain had tweeted, “Reviewed the progress of the ongoing work in the 500 ICU beds facility of LNJP Hospital. In these testing times, our engineers and workers are working day and night to make the facility available by 5th May.”

Delhi, which saw new cases in a day crossing the 28,000 mark in April, has seen a reduction in cases over the past few days. On Thursday, the city reported 19,133 cases and 335 deaths. The positivity rate, which was consistently over 30% last week, dipped to 24%. Over 78,000 tests were conducted in the city, over 64,000 of which were RT-PCR tests.

Over 27.7 lakh people have got one shot of the vaccine so far in Delhi, while 7.7 lakh have got both doses.

The facility at Ramlila Maidan comprises two hangars, which can accommodate 250 patients each. The hangars — 30 metres wide and 135 metres long — have steel frames, which are covered with white tarpaulin sheets.

An official of Deepali Designs and Exhibits, the company working on the project, said a kitchen is being constructed outside and liquid medical oxygen tanks will be set up behind the facility. A mortuary is being constructed inside the premises as well. Twelve washrooms are being constructed around the two hangars.

The official said the firm had set up the DRDO facility in Dhaula Kuan and they are following a similar layout here.

One of the two hangars is nearing completion as the walls and ceilings are ready. The first hangar is likely to be open to patients sooner than the other, said the official. He added, “Construction work should be completed in the next 3-4 days.”

At present, there are 22,052 beds earmarked for Covid patients in the city. Of these, only 1,774 are available, as per the Delhi government’s Delhi Corona app. Out of the 5,569 ICU beds, only 24 are vacant, the app says. However, several people have complained that the app is not accurate and hospitals where beds are shown vacant are not admitting any patients.

Another 500 ICU bed facility is being constructed near GTB Hospital. Jain tweeted that construction of both facilities will provide considerable relief to serious Covid patients.