Coronavirus Outbreak: ITBP’s Delhi quarantine facility to expand, become biggest in city

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Coronavirus in India: With a rapid increase in the number of positive cases of coronavirus in the country, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is mulling expansion of its quarantine facility in Delhi's Chhawla if required, as per a report in the IE. The facility currently has 600 beds, which would be increased to 1,000 beds if needed. If the expansion takes place, the camp would become the biggest quarantine facility in the city for the isolation of suspected patients of coronavirus-induced COVID-19.

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So far, the facility has been used to quarantine over 500 suspected patients, including 324 nationals evacuated from China's Wuhan towards the end of January and 112 people evacuated from there at the end of February. All of the evacuees from Wuhan tested negative for coronavirus and were discharged from the camp. The report also stated that the facility has 25 doctors, including 10 from ITBP and 15 from Safdarjung Hospital, stationed there.

The IE report quoted ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandery as saying that as per requirements, the number of medical professionals and doctors will be doubled. The report further quoted officials as saying that the people suspected to suffer from COVID-19 are kept in the camp till they are tested positive. If a patient is tested positive, he is immediately transferred to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital or Safdarjung Hospital for further treatment. If the tests turn out to be negative for the entire incubation period, the patient is discharged.

So far, Delhi has had 10 positive cases of coronavirus, of which one patient, a 69-year-old woman, passed away on Friday. Two others have been discharged. The number of active coronavirus patients in Delhi is 7. The deceased woman was also suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

Of the 400-bed expansion, 300 beds will be in a separate pre-quarantine space in the facility, the report quoted ITBP officials as saying. An official said that if required, a patient who needed to be tested before being kept at the isolation ward would be kept in the pre-quarantine facility.

The ITBP quarantine facility complex has operational kitchens, telephones, WiFi, TV and games like carrom board, volleyball and cards for the residents. Laundry facility is also available at the camp and the linen in the rooms is changed every alternate day. For washing the clothes, the facility first dips them in hypochlorite, before washing them with hot water. Apart from this, the rooms are also fumigated to ensure sanitation.