With daily COVID-19 cases in the national capital showing a declining trend, the Delhi government on Monday asked private hospitals with 100 or more beds to scale down the number of oxygen beds reserved for Covid patients to 30 per cent of their total capacity.
For hospitals with less than 100 beds, the government left it to them whether they want to reserve any beds for Covid patients.
On April 18, when Delhi and the rest of the country were battling a ferocious second wave of the pandemic, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had issued an order directing all private hospitals and nursing homes to reserve at least 80 per cent of their beds for Covid patients.
In its order, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said, "It has been observed that there are 22,220 vacant Covid beds and there is a rising demand for non-Covid beds for treatment of non-COVID patients."
"Hence, keeping in view the large number of unoccupied Covid beds, the competent authority decided that in private hospitals with 100 beds or more, the number of reserved oxygen beds may be reduced to 30 per cent of the total capacity or three times the occupancy as on June 16, whichever is more," it said.
Private hospitals with less than 100 beds can take a call on whether they want to reserve any beds for Covid patients, according to the order.
"Furthermore, the keepers of nursing homes issued temporary registration for COVID-related treatment will reserve 100 per cent of their bed capacity for the same," the order stated.
In case there is a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi, "the keepers of all private hospitals/nursing homes providing Covid-related treatment shall immediately augment the number of COVID beds", it added.
During the second wave, Delhi witnessed an acute shortage of hospital beds and hospitals scrambled to ensure a steady supply of oxygen for patients.
On Monday, Delhi recorded 59 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest so far this year, which took its infection tally to 14,33,993 while two more fatalities pushed the death toll to 24,967, according to health department data.
The city has a positivity rate of 0.10 per cent. Out of the total 23,698 beds for Covid patients, only 1,015 are occupied, the data showed.