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ITBP Takes Over Largest COVID-19 Care Center In Delhi As Cases Surge

New Delhi: Amid the rising cases of Coronavirus in India, the government called in the army to manage new treatment centres with thousands of additional hospital beds in New Delhi. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police on Wednesday took over a 10,000-bed capacity COVID-19 care centre in Delhi, officials said.

New Delhi, the sprawling capital of more than 20 million people, also recorded its highest single-day increase on Wednesday, with more than 3,900 cases. Local government data showed that of the roughly 13,400 beds allocated to COVID-19 patients in the city, around 6,200 were occupied.

The federal home ministry said the city would have around 20,000 additional beds available by next week at temporary facilities run by army doctors and nurses.

A team of officials from the border guarding force visited the Radha Soami Beas facility and held discussions with the Delhi government and other stakeholders who will be partners in running the centre.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on Tuesday said the centre has been entrusted to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

“Armed Forces personnel have been detailed for providing medical care and attention to COVID-19 patients housed in the Railway coaches in Delhi,” Home Minister Amit Shah said.

The force took over the COVID-19 care centre at Radha Soami Beas in Chattarpur, New Delhi on Wednesday.

“The home ministry had nominated ITBP as the nodal agency to provide doctors and team of other professionals to this centre as requested by the Delhi government,” an ITBP officer said.

It is expected that a 2,000-bed facility will be operational at the centre from June 26, another officer said.

The total bed capacity may go up to 10,200. This will be the largest COVID-19 care centre in the national capital as well as the country, he said.

More than 1,000 doctors of the ITBP and other Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and 2,000 paramedics and security staff are expected to be deployed at this facility, the officer said.

The south Delhi district administration will provide administrative support to the centre, he said.

The ITBP was the first organisation in the country to have created a 1,000-bed quarantine centre for coronavirus affected people.

The centre in Chhawla area of south-west Delhi has treated about 1,200 people, including 42 foreigners who were brought to India on special evacuation flights from Wuhan in China and Italy, after the COVID-19 outbreak a few months back.

The facility is still operational and is taking care of those ITBP troops who are joining back to work after the countrywide lockdown.

It also created the first standard operating procedures for the management of the pandemic among the various CAPFs and central and state police organisations.

The about 90,000 personnel strong force is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control with China. A good number of its troops along with Army personnel are at present engaged in fortifying Indian defences with the People’s Liberation Army of the neighbouring country in the Ladakh area.

(With PTI Inputs)

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