Army converts Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment into COVID care centre with 650 beds, 450 of them oxygenated

Published : April 28, 2021 14:03 IST

A view of the Army Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment, in New Delhi. Photo: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The Indian Army has converted its Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment (BHDC) into an exclusive COVID care hospital. By April 30 the hospital will have 650 COVID beds, of which 450 will be oxygenated.

At the start of the second wave of the pandemic, the hospital catered to 340 COVID beds, of which 250 were oxygenated. But the exponential rise in case numbers resulted in the need for additional capacities. With the COVID beds filled to capacity, patients had to be treated in the trauma centre after obtaining their willingness to wait for beds. That was also when it was decided to expand of the number of COVID beds. Besides the 650 COVID beds, BHDS’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is being enhanced from 12 beds to 35 beds. The Army is also planning a further expansion in the number of oxygenated beds, escalating the number from 450 to 900 by the second week of June.

In addition, the Army has established a new COVID outpatient department (OPD) under a specialist medical team which is functioning round the clock, screening patients for home isolation, investigation, treatment advice and admission. According to an Army spokesperson, the OPD specialist medical team has been clinically examining approximately 500 patients every day, rendering patients with appropriate medical advice. “The endeavor is to ensure that all critical cases are provided appropriate treatment,” the spokesperson said.

Teleconsultancy

The Army has also established a COVID teleconsultancy and Information Management Cell under the supervision of a senior officer. The cell is functioning round the clock, “rendering medical advice as well as information about admitted patients with due sensitivity”. The cell has been receiving on an average 1,300 calls a day. Among the tasks handled include expert medical advice, updates regarding admitted patients to relatives, guidance regarding bed availability and admissions, information on COVID test reports, coordination of personal requests from patients and relatives, and information regarding administering of the vaccine. The cell can be accessed on 011-25683580, 011-25683585, 011-25683581, and 37176 (through the Army line).

The spokesperson said the Army would spare no effort to augment medical capacities to match the expanding requirements caused by the exponential rise in cases. He also called upon veterans and others to “extend full support and encouragement to military medical professionals who are performing their duties with utmost dedication and sincerity”.

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