The Delhi Cabinet on Friday approved a budget of Rs 1,544 crore under the Emergency COVID-19 Response Package to bolster health systems in order to be prepared for a possible third wave, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. "The cabinet was of the consensus that Corona is not over yet and a third wave can be expected. Thus, there should not be any hesitations with respect to the control and prevention of the spread of COVID-19. In this direction, the Delhi Cabinet unanimously approved a budget of Rs 1,544.24 crore for the State ECRP 2021-22 to further strengthen the fight against Corona," Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister said that in view of a possible wave of COVID-19, the Delhi government is trying its best to strengthen its health systems and preparedness at every level. "As a responsible government, we are taking all measures and steps necessary in this fight against COVID-19. In view of the advent of a possible wave of COVID, the Delhi government is trying its best to strengthen its health systems and preparedness at every level," he said.
According to officials, the budget will be spent on further enhancing testing and labs, procuring supplies, mobilising additional human resources, increasing health facilities in hospitals and managing Covid Care Centres, among others. "Of the total budget, Rs 415 crore will be used for the strengthening of COVID-19 testing and labs. Rs 445 crore will be allotted for procurement of supplies. A budget of Rs 280 crore will help bolster health facilities and hospitals along with an amount of Rs 125 crore that will aid the management of Covid care centres," the government said in a statement.
"The experts are anticipating a third wave of COVID-19 cases in India, including Delhi, bigger than the earlier surges of COVID-19 cases. The Delhi government in that view had constituted a state level task force under state nodal officer and several task-based sub committees to prepare for management of probable third wave of COVID-19 in Delhi," it added. Officials said that 6,836 ICU beds will be added in seven hospitals in Delhi after which the capacity of ICU beds in the national capital will increase to 17,000.
"In order to ensure that oxygen crisis like that during second wave does not arise in future, the government is making Delhi self-sufficient in the matter of oxygen. Seventy-three PSA plants with a capacity of 77.80 MT are being installed in Delhi government hospitals. All the plants will be commissioned by the end of November," it added.