With the aggressive second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic crippling health infrastructures across the country, the defence establishment has stepped up aid efforts by setting up makeshift hospitals in various cities.
One such makeshift facility was set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Delhi that began operations Monday. The 500-bed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid hospital is being manned by a group of 40 professionals from the Armed Forces Medical Service (AFMS) and two doctors from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
Once the hospital, which is situated in the Delhi Cantonment area, began operations there was a massive rush with a number of patients and ambulances turning up at the facility. DRDO spokesperson Dr Narendra Arya said that while the facility has 250 beds at the moment, it will be expanded to 500 by Thursday.
“Every bed is an ICU-Ventilator one. Only patients requiring ICU or ventilator facility are being admitted. I would request people only with dire need to come to the facility as those who can manage with house care will not be admitted,” he told ThePrint. More beds can be added by DRDO at the facility in the future depending on the situation.
Besides the Delhi hospital, the DRDO is working on setting up three similar facilities in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Furthermore, the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is also setting up two Covid facilities in UP’s Lucknow and Nashik in Maharashtra. HAL has already constructed a facility for the Karnataka government in Bengaluru.