With COVID-19 cases spiralling over the last few days, there is an acute shortage of beds in hospitals across various states. Private and government hospitals have been struggling to accommodate coronavirus patients. Amidst all this chaos, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has assured that there is no shortage of beds in hospitals across Delhi. In fact, Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Corona App’ also adds to his claims and shows many beds available in hospitals.
No shortage of hospital beds, assures Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Yesterday, Kejriwal claimed that more than 5000 beds were available for COVID-19 positive patients in the national capital. Similarly, on April 14, Health Minister Satyendar Jain also guaranteed that there are enough hospital beds available for coronavirus patients in Delhi.
Speaking to the media, Jain said: “Currently we have 13,000 beds and there is no shortage of ventilators. Patients from Delhi and other states are being admitted.”
The Health minister had furthered that the numbers of hospital beds (for availability) is being revised twice a day on the Delhi Corona App and that people should visit hospitals only after going through the app.
For the uninitiated, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched a dedicated app, the ‘Corona APP’ in June last year to display the availability of beds at both private and government hospitals in the city.
Kejriwal’s Corona App ‘real-time data’ far from reality
Though the AAP govt’s Delhi Corona App shows beds available in various hospitals across the National Capital, the hospitals maintain that there are no beds available. To prove this, a Twitter user has shared an audio recording, where a person calls up at least 4 hospitals and none of the hospitals corroborates the data shown on the app.
In the Tweet, the caller speaks to 4 random hospitals in Delhi, the names and details of which are also mentioned on the Govt App. First, the caller speaks to Balaji Action Medical Int, Paschim Vihar. The govt app, as on April 15, 1.01 PM shows that out of the total 220 beds, 5 are available in the hospital. However, when the caller speaks to the hospital authorities they deny having any bed available.
The next hospital- Primus Super Speciality hospital, Chanakyapuri, also denies having a single bed available for COVID-19 patients despite the govt app showing 18 beds out of the total 101 available as on April 15, 8:15 AM.
Similarly, the other two hospitals, namely, Shanti Mukund Hospital, Vikas Marg Ext and Max Smart Gujarmal Modi Hospital shows on the app that 68 beds vacant out of 131 and 7 out of 149 beds are available respectively as on April 15, but the hospitals refute the claims when called.
OpIndia also gets in touch with hospitals in Delhi to know the ground reality
OpIndia also called up various hospitals mentioned in the app. We tried contacting the hospitals mentioned in the above Tweet and some other hospitals mentioned on the Delhi Govt’s app also chosen at random. However, we too found that data mentioned in the ‘Delhi Corona’ app, launched by the state government to show ‘real-time availability of beds’ for Covid-19 patients, was far from reality.
We called up at least 10 hospitals listed in the Delhi govt app. The numbers of a few hospitals as mentioned in the app were found to be incorrect, some hospitals did not even respond.
We got in touch with Balaji Action Medical Int Hospital in Paschim Vihar (the first hospital mentioned in the above Tweet), only to learn that currently there is a waiting list of 50 patients on the hospital. However, if you check the data on the ‘Corona App’ today, it shows the last updated data as on April 15. According to the App, 5 beds are still available in the hospital.
Similarly, one Burari Hospital also showed that 3 beds out of 320 are available as of April 16, 8:49 AM, but when we spoke to the hospital authorities that maintained that no bed are available currently.
After the random check conducted by us, we can safely say that there are major lapses in the city government’s ‘Delhi Corona’ app. While the Delhi government maintains that there is no shortage of beds for coronavirus patients in Delhi, the hospitals in the national capital have been giving out a completely different picture.
Persisting problem with Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Corona App’
However, what is interesting here is that though Delhiites have again started complaining that the Delhi Corona app is not offering an accurate picture of the ground situation, the problem seems to be persistent.
In June last year too, while the Delhi government had maintained that there is no shortage of beds for coronavirus patients in the capital and the App had also shown multiple beds available at various hospitals, a number of prominent hospitals in the city had told NDTV that they are running at full capacity and have no beds available to accommodate fresh cases.
Every thing said and done, the discrepancy between the data on the app and the response from hospitals is adding to the confusion and distress among families of coronavirus patients in Delhi who are running pillar to post to get their loved ones treated.