New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced the launch of the “Delhi Corona” app that seeks to bridge the gap between the government’s arrangements for COVID-19 treatment and the availability of this information among people.
The app aims to provide updated information on the availability of beds and ventilators in various government and private hospitals. A web page has also been created to disseminate this data.
Kejriwal said the number of coronavirus cases have risen sharply in Delhi.
“But,” he added, “there is no need to worry as sufficient arrangement has been made to provide patients with beds, oxygen or ventilators as per their need. In some cities and big countries across the globe, one of the biggest problems witnessed was that they did not have adequate beds to cater to the needs of all the patients. So there was a shortage of beds, health infrastructure, ICUs and ventilators with them which led to a large number of people not getting treatment and the incidence of death being higher.”
In Delhi, Kejriwal said the government has tried to remain ahead of the need for infrastructure to tackle the virus.
“While the number of cases are rising, there is enough for everyone. But while we claim that there are adequate beds, ICU and ventilators, we have been receiving calls from people that they have not been able to find a bed or ventilator despite going to various hospitals – so this indicated an information gap. The government has made arrangements, but people do not know about them.”
Availability of beds, ventilators
Pointing out that as of today there are 6,731 beds and around 2819 patients are admitted to hospitals in Delhi, he said, there are 3,912 beds that are available but people do not know where to get admitted.
Apart from providing information on the availability of beds, the app will also provide details on ventilators.
Speaking about the functioning of the app, Kejriwal said that the app would show the overall figures of beds available, information on each hospital, and against the name of each hospital, details on when information was updated, total number of beds, beds occupied and vacant.
In the case of ventilators, he said, 302 ventilators were available of which 92 were being used and 210 were free. He said the app would be updated at 10 am and 6 pm daily.
The app, he said, can be downloaded from the Google Play store. He said a web page has also been created, delhifightscorona.in/beds where the status of beds would be made available. Besides this, he said, the same information is going to be made available through a ‘1031’ helpline.
If someone learns from the app that a hospital has beds, goes to it and is refused admission then the person can call the helpline number. The Special Secretary Health would be monitoring all such calls.
‘Only serious patients need to be in hospital’
He said that while the case count in Delhi is going up, people should realise that around 6,000-7,000 people are getting themselves quarantined at home. Out of the nearly 20,000 cases, only 2,600 are admitted to hospitals. “Not everyone needs to get admitted. Admission is to be done on the basis of evaluation done by doctors – or else hospitals will fill up immediately. Those who are asymptomatic or showing mild symptoms should get themselves treated at home.”
Even those who are undergoing treatment at home should not worry, he said, adding that a team of health workers would constantly monitor them and assist them in getting admitted if their condition becomes serious.
Apps have been launched earlier by several states, cities and even civil bodies, but none of them provided information on availability of beds or ventilators.
Most of the apps give information on people under quarantine, contact tracing, government and private hospitals treating COVID-19 cases or positive cases in one’s vicinity.
For example, the Apthamitra helpline and app launched by Karnataka aims to help people access medical advice or assistance or get their doubts cleared in case they show symptoms of COVID-19.
The Aarogya Setu app launched by the Centre uses location data from smartphones to track who has come in contact with COVID-positive persons and also monitors the movement of patients.
The COVA Punjab app provides a platform for issue of curfew passes for emergencies, reporting of mass gatherings and information on home quarantined patients and their travel history.
The Tamil Nadu government also launched a quarantine monitoring app a couple of months ago.