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NEW DELHI: In a sign that the national capital is struggling with bed capacity in the covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi government on Friday asked five major hotels across the city to function as makeshift hospitals for patients of the deadly respiratory disease.

The five hotels—ITC Ltd’s Hotel Sheraton at Saket, Hotel Crown Plaza at Okhla Phase-I, Hotel Surya at New Friends Colony, Hotel Siddharth at Rajendra Place, Hotel Jivitesh at Pusa Road—will be functioning as makeshift hospitals where medical services shall be provided by the attached private hospital with each of them, the Delhi government said in an order.

While Sheraton will be run by Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital at Saket, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital will operate Hotel Surya. Batra Hospital & Research Centre will operate Hotel Crown Plaza. Dr BL Kapur Memorial Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram City Hospital will run the hospitals at Rajendra Place and Pusa Road respectively.

“The attached private hospital is required to provide sufficient manpower (nurses & doctors) as per norms. Further, the attached hospital is also required to provide oxygen supply, either in the form of oxygen concentrator or oxygen cylinder, in the extended COVID Hospital in case a patient requires oxygen support," the Delhi government said in its order.

The government has capped the price to be charged by the hotel for providing regular services like rooms, housekeeping, disinfection and food for the patients at 5,000 per day per person for five-star hotels and 4,000 for four- and three-star hotels.

The prices charged by hospitals for providing medical services have also been capped at 5,000 per patient per day, including consumables, services of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and nursing staff, among others.

However, investigation charges can be as per the hospital rates while oxygen support can be charged at a maximum of 2,000 per bed per day, the government said.

The hospital will collect all charges and make payments to the hotel, and, if they can, accommodate their doctors and staff at the hotel at their own expense, it said.

The Delhi government had last month said that it will consider roping in private hotels if the capacity of private and public hospitals in Delhi is stretched on account of Covid-19.

Of the more than 16,000 patients in Delhi that have so far been confirmed to have novel coronavirus infection, around 8,500 are currently admitted in hospitals, while nearly 7,500 have recovered, as per data provided by the Delhi government on Thursday.

However, there are many more patients who are suspected to have the coronavirus and are currently admitted in hospitals pending tests, and this has stretched the national capital’s healthcare infrastructure.

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