The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has provided 150 medical ventilator machines from the PM CARES fund to a Delhi-based COVID care centre run by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), officials said on Saturday. Bhaskar Khulbe, Advisor to the PM, has written in this context to the Union Health Ministry, as per a copy of the letter provided by ITBP officials.
The 150 ventilators, equipped with global positioning system (GPS), will be installed at the Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre (SPCCC) that began operating on April 26 at the Radha Soami Beas campus in south Delhi's Chhattarpur area. The ITBP, a border guarding force, has been entrusted to run the centre with the administrative support and funding of the state government.
The SPCCC was opened by the Centre on Delhi government's request in view of the recent massive surge in coronavirus infections in the national capital. The PMO letter stated that the ventilators will be made available from the PM CARES Trust Fund on a loan basis of six months now, which if necessary, may be extended further on review.
The life-saving equipment will be used to address the "needs of critical patients" at the SPCCC, it said, adding that the request seeking these equipments was made by ITBP chief S S Deswal. The PMO also directed the Health Ministry to "organise immediate installation" of the ventilators at the facility that has a total of 500 oxygen beds and provide "necessary training for the use of these ventilators may also be organised by the selected vendor".
The SPCCC, at present, does not have ventilators or ICU, and following a slow pace of admissions almost 400 COVID-19 patients have been admitted here as per latest data. The ITBP, early this week, had flagged that it was not able to admit the full capacity of patients at this facility due to "limited" supply of oxygen and had asked the Delhi government to enhance its flow.