Delhi is all set to inaugurate India’s largest COVID-19 facility this week, thanks to Union Home Minister Amit Shah who has roped in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) medical personnel to see out smooth functioning of the facility. After an appeal of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, spiritual organisation Radha Soami Satsang Beas Centre was the first to extend a helping hand, converting its campus in Chhattarpur into a COVID-19 quarantine facility with 10,000 beds.
The Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) was established in India in 1891. At the centre of RSSB and its teachings is a ‘spiritual teacher’, who explains the purpose of life through daily meditation practices. Presently, the teacher is Baba Gurinder Singh.
The campus in Chhatarpur is spread over a sprawling 300-acre of land, out of which 70 ac has been set aside for the quarantine facility.
Earlier during the lockdown, the centre also opened up some of its ashrams to migrants in other parts of the country. Not only this, the organization has told the government that it can also provide food for the patients.
The coronavirus centre is based in South Delhi’s Chhattarpur region and is reportedly the size of 15 football fields. It has been named Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre and Hospital and can accommodate nearly 10,200 patients.
While announcing the inauguration of the COVID centre, a senior Home Ministry official said, “This would be 10 times bigger than the field facility for Covid patients that was temporarily set up in China’s Leishenshan to accommodate 1,000 patients.”
Home Minister Amit Shah earlier this month asked Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to find places where the Delhi government could rapidly expand its capacity to keep and treat COVID-19 patients when needed.
Amit Shah is expected to visit the centre this weekend. Authorities have been asked to begin operations of 2,000 beds, possibly by Thursday. The remaining beds are targeted to be installed by 3 July. The facility has come in the wake of the Delhi government’s projection of coronavirus cases.
Sources suggest that Amit Shah had directed the ITBP personnel to help run the COVID centre in south Delhi. Shah’s order came after it was estimated that there would be a requirement of 800 general doctors, 10 special doctors and 1400 nurses to run the 10,200-bed facility.
The Delhi government had earlier estimated that by the end of this month the number of corona patients in Delhi would reach 1 lakh, which would require around 15,000 beds. AIIMS director Randeep Guleria had later indicated that this model may have overestimated the extent of the spread but backed moves to prep for the worst-case scenario.
Vivek Sethi, secretary of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Bhati Mines, Chhatarpur, said, “Out of the 10,000 beds that will be made available for the COVID patients, 1,000 beds will have oxygen facilities. The Radha Soami Satsang Beas centre will also provide Vinyl flooring.” He added that the facility would be opened on 1 July.