NEW DELHI: The COVID care centre run by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in south Delhi admitted about 20 patients on Tuesday, including some through referrals, taking the total to about 145 in two days, officials said.
They said though the Delhi government has not issued any official order doing away with the mandatory process of getting an approval of the district surveillance officer (DSO) for admitting patients here, some were allowed in "on the basis of referrals, considering the condition of the patient and following due processes".
The 500 oxygen-bed facility in south Delhi's Radha Soami Beas centre in Chhattarpur had admitted 123 patients on Monday, and it did 20 on Tuesday.
The facility, named Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre (SPCCC), has been opened in view of Delhi registering a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, a shortage of oxygen beds and its healthcare system not being able to handle the pressure.
The ITBP, a border-guarding force, has been designated by the Union Home Ministry as the nodal agency to run it.
The SPCCC, at present, only has oxygen beds and no ICU and ventilator facilities.
Officials said the Centre is still facing the issues of logistics and steady flow of oxygen cylinders, and hence admissions are being done gradually rather than filling all the 500 beds simultaneously.
As per the laid out procedure, the SPCCC will have no walk-in admissions and these will be made after approval by DSOs of various Delhi districts.
The ITBP has said that treatment, medicines and food for the patients at this centre will be free of cost.
The cost is borne by the Delhi government.
As the Centre opened on Monday, a number of patients whose oxygen levels were fluctuating had voluntarily queued up outside the facility in hope of getting admitted there.
However, they could not get admission and were asked to follow the set protocol.
ITBP Deputy Inspector General (DIG) D K Goyal had told reporters at the facility on Monday that the SOPs state that patients whose oxygen saturation level is 85 or above will be admitted to the facility as "it a COVID care centre and not a hospital".
The SOPs state that the patients who require intensive or better medical care will be referred to the GTB and Safdarjung hospitals from here.
The helpline numbers of the SPCCC are 011-26655547/48/49 and 011-26655949/69.
As per officials, patient's details like age, address, contact number, oxygen level, pulse and comorbid conditions will be obtained and after an assessment by a team of doctors, those eligible to get admitted will be communicated through their contact number.
The DSOs are also be empowered to recommend patients to the SPCCC, as per the SOP.
A team of 50 ITBP and other organisations' doctors, about 80 paramedics and nursing staff, security personnel of the border-guarding force and other administrative staff have been tasked to run the centre that is expected to add more beds in the coming days.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had declared on April 22 that the SPCCC, which was made operational in July last year and shut in February this year as the number of coronavirus infections declined in the national capital, was being restarted on the Delhi government's request as the cases were rising rapidly once again.
A total of 11,657 COVID-19 patients were treated at this centre between July-February.
Delhi is currently facing an acute shortage of oxygen beds for serious COVID-19 patients and has almost run out of ICU facilities amid soaring infections.
The national capital is recording a massive surge in coronavirus cases.
On Monday, the city recorded 20,201 new COVID-19 cases and 380 related deaths.