Delhi Covid helpline: ‘You are dialling a wrong number.’

Barring a few, the mobile numbers of almost all big hospitals are found turned off, transferred, or not reachable
Image for representational purpose only. (​  EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION)
Image for representational purpose only. (​ EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION)

NEW DELHI: What would be your first response if you or your near ones get Covid-19 and the health parameters start falling? Call the nearby hospital and check for admission, right? You will also expect a prompt response and verified information from hospitals regarding the availability of beds. However, you are most likely to get disappointed here.

While hospitals have made tall claims in recent days about readiness to deal with any eventuality with boasting of their bed strength, workforce and logistics supply, they seem to fail on one front miserably —communication.

The hospitals have restarted to share particulars of available and vacant beds at their facility on Delhi Corona App. However, in a reality check done by this newspaper, it was found that many faked the claim of bed status shown on the app. Besides, the helpline numbers shared by them also did not work.

Barring a few, the mobile numbers of almost all big hospitals were found turned off, transferred to a private person, or not reachable. Astonishingly, in many cases, the receptionists said no availability of beds while the same hospitals claimed numerous vacant beds on the app.

The prominent names who said no bed availability goes as Fortis Shalimar Bagh, Jamia Hamdard, while a majority of the hospitals remained incommunicado on the numbers provided on the app including Lok Nayak, GTB, Bara Hindu Rao among others.

When asked about the situation, Dr Subhash Giri, Medical Director of GTB and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital said: “The patient help desk was reactivated since there was no influx of patients (Covid-19) in the hospital. However, we will update the contacts. Till then, all calls from now will be transferred to our help desk.”

Lok Nayak hospital medical director Dr Suresh Kumar remained incommunicado despite repeated attempts. Meanwhile, a mock drill in city hospitals was conducted in the day to assess the clinical readiness in case of any Covid outbreak. All centre-run and Delhi Government-run hospitals took part in the exercise. The Union Health Minister reviewed the Covid response mock drill from Safdarjung Hospital.

Misleading or mismanagement?

210 Beds available.
No response on the landline

Guru Teg Bahadur
449 Beds available.
Out of 12, 11 numbers remain switched off

Bara Hindu Rao
250 Beds available.
No response by both the numbers provided

Rajiv Gandhi super specialty
330 Beds available.
Out of 4 numbers, 2 were switched off; rest were invalid

Jamia Hamdard
66 Beds available.
No beds available, said reception

Sir Ganga Ram
56 Beds available.
Mobile numbers were temporarily shut, landline calls were not picked

BLK Hospital
47 Beds available.
2 numbers were switched off out of 5, no response from rest

St Stephens
238 Beds available.
‘Wrong number’

Fortis Vasant Kunj
64 Beds available.
‘We are not taking Covid admissions’

Max East/West block
180 Beds available.
‘No response’ from contact numbers

Lok Nayak Hospital
450 Beds available.
No response by all 5 nos provided

Primus Super Speciality
30 Beds available.
‘Wrong no.’ /call to landline didn’t go through

Fortis Shalimar Bagh
26 Beds available.
Out of 3, two nos were switched off. Call was picked on 3rd number

Indira Gandhi Hospital, Dwarka
1241 Beds available.
One landline number, which is out of order

ESIC Hospital Jhilmil
20 ​Beds available.
Provided contact number remained ‘temporarily out of service’

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