Delhi

Care facilities up, but face hurdles galore

Several Residents’ Welfare Associations in the Millennium City have managed to come up with makeshift COVID care facilities after permission from the district administration a week ago. But arranging liquid oxygen and medical and paramedical staffers remain major challenges for them.

“I would not call it a COVID care facility, but just an emergency facility to take care of patients till the time they get a hospital bed. We are not treating patients. We have set up three beds in our club. It is a complete setup with oxygen cylinders, concentrators, and a round the clock nurse. We have tied up with a nursing home treating COVID patients for a doctor’s visit in case of an emergency,” said Mamta Yadav, RWA president of The Seven Lamps in Sector 82.

Four to five critical patients have been given medical aid at the facility in a week’s time. The RWA has procured its own stock of medicines, PPE kits and oxygen cylinders so that the residents need not run around in case of an emergency. “But the only challenge that remains is getting the oxygen cylinder filled. There is a huge crowd at the filling stations. It is not too safe for people to stand in queues at these stations as they might get infected,” said Ms. Yadav.

Funded by residents

The gated community has around 550 units with 45 active cases. “We have invested so much, all from residents’ funding. But three beds may not be sufficient. We have space for 2-3 more beds, but we need support from the administration. I spoke to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) and he has promised to arrange two concentrators based on the number of residential units. We need support to fill oxygen cylinders too. The COVID care facilities inside societies should be given priority for cylinder refill,” said Ms. Yadav.

She added the RWA was also getting consent forms filled from the patients so that they do not turn around to blame them if things go wrong at any stage.

Another group housing society in its neighbourhood — Vipul Lavanya Apartments — has also set up a small emergency facility. “We have hired an ambulance belonging to one of our residents, who is a doctor. We have used the swimming pool lounger chairs and two oxygen cylinders to set up the facility. Also, we collected residual tablets from patients who have recovered, bought PPE kits, face masks and medicines. But we don’t take permanent admissions. As per the guidelines, our facility has separate entry and exit,” said Sanjay Raj Singhvi, RWA secretary of Vipul Lavanya Apartments in Sector 81.

“Two people from the Deputy Commissioner’s office came to us seeking to know how many cylinders we have. We gave them a demand letter saying we need four cylinders and refilling them is a major problem. We also got a call from the ADC office on Friday,” said Mr. Singhvi. The society has 28 active cases and five people have died so far.

Ramprastha City’s Atrium Condominium Welfare Association president Pradip Rahi said they too wanted to set up their our own COVID care facility and the developer was ready to help them, but they could not find the space that meets the guidelines.

Difficult guidelines

“It is difficult to meet all the guidelines issued by the district administration. We could not find a space with separate entry and exit. It is also very difficult to find medical and paramedical staffers. So we collected fund to procure half-a-dozen oxygen cylinders and medicines for any emergency,” he said.

Hence, some of the residents have set up their own home Intensive Care Units with the help of a private company, he said. “It costs around ₹25,000 per day. But they need to arrange their own oxygen cylinders. We helped one such elderly couple to get oxygen. We had to go to far off places as Alwar and Kanpur to get the cylinders refilled,” said Mr. Rahi.

In Delhi too, the RWAs are reluctant to set up their own COVID care facilities despite an offer of help from the police. A senior police officer said that only RWA in Civil Lines has come forward to set up facility for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The RWA has arranged 20 beds with the help of North District police. “All district DCPs have been instructed to hold meetings with RWAs and encourage them to set up COVID care facilities in their residential societies. We are hopeful to get more such centres in the city,” said the officer.


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 3:29:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/care-facilities-up-but-face-hurdles-galore/article34522894.ece

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