- South Delhi’s Radha Soami Spiritual Centre is 12,50,000 square feet in area
- This centre is being converted into COVID facility with 10,000 beds
- This is the world’s largest COVID-19 care facility: Delhi government
New Delhi: Delhi, one of the top three worst-hit states by the novel coronavirus, was facing some challenges in arranging beds for the COVID19 patients’ and quarantine facilities earlier this month. The state government that has reported 44,688 cases as of June 17, according to the ministry of health and family welfare, has finally converted some major establishments to cope up with Coronavirus crisis in the capital. This includes the South Delhi’s Radha Soami Spiritual Centre in Chhatarpur which, according to the government, is area wise as large as over 22 football fields (12,50,000 square feet), making it the world’s largest COVID-19 care facility. The spiritual centre had over 200 halls and can accommodate about 10,000 beds. There will also be a provision of accommodation for doctors at one side of the facility, the government informed.
The facility, until recently, was being used as a shelter home for displaced migrant workers. Along with COVID-19 dedicated facilities, the centre also has a semi-industrial community kitchen that can cook thousands of meals at once, a Delhi government official told NDTV.
One of the most unique features of this facility would be its corrugated cardboard beds, which are recyclable. These beds are being supplied by Dhavan Box Sheet Containers Pvt Ltd and their director Vikram Dhavan told NDTV that they are proud to lend a helping hand in such a time. He said,
The cardboard beds we will be supplying need not be sanitised as according to the WHO the virus does not remain stable on cardboard for more than 24 hours. While on metal, plastic and wood, it can stay for up to five days. These beds are also really light, easy to assemble and dismantle. Supplying these beds for the facility is a matter of pride for us.
While the COVID care facility is being developed at the premises of the spiritual centre, the official said that all the healthcare guidelines are being applied in the transformation. He also explained that the transformation process is being carried out by dividing the areas in 20 mini-hospitals with 500-bed each.
The entire area is being divided into 20 mini hospitals, comprising 500 beds. Each 500-bed hospital will have 5-10 enclosures of 50-100 beds. Ten per cent of the beds will have oxygen supply. The facility will also have ambulances and its own pathology laboratory for testing. However, it will not have ventilators since we have made arrangements for referral with super speciality hospitals for critical patients, the Delhi government official told NDTV.
At least 400 doctors will be working here in two shifts, backed by double the number of paramedics, he added.
Owing to the huge size of the facility, management is paramount. Therefore the official says that they are implementing the best e-management services using computers to avoid any kind of discrepancy in data and information. When it comes to the manpower in running the world’s largest facility, he said that they’re getting a lot of help from the military, paramilitary and philanthropists for the same.
The military and paramilitary are helping us with operations, maintenance, logistics, medical equipment and manpower – sanitation workers, pathologists, technicians, pharmacists, he explained.
The centre also has preinstalled fans and CCTV cameras where almost 3 lakh people would attend sermons before the pandemic, making it the ideal choice to be quickly converted into a temporary COVID care facility, the official said. He added that the facility should be ready to operate by June 30.
Delhi currently has about 10,000 dedicated COVID-19 beds in state-run, central and private hospitals. As the national capital continued to witness the spike in the number cases, the Delhi government directed district magistrates and other officials involved in COVID management to make arrangements for 20,000 additional beds. The state government estimates that coronavirus cases in the national capital are likely to breach the 5 lakh-mark by July-end and around one lakh beds will be needed for COVID-19 patients.