New Delhi: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) run Sardar Patel Covid care centre with 500-oxygen bed in south Delhi has begun its operations on Monday as coronavirus cases register a sharp rise in the national capital. Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain visited the centre created inside the Radha Soami Beas in Chhatarpur area. The treatment at this centre will be free of cost.Also Read - Apple Postpones Plans Return to Office After Rise in Covid-19 Cases

CM Kejriwal said, “The Centre opened for patients at 10 am today. It is being started with 500 beds. It will be further increased to 2000 beds and then to 5000 beds even further. A 200-bed ICU is also being started there.” Also Read - Gyanvapi Masjid Row Highlights: SC Says Shivling Area to be Protected, to Hear Matter Again on May 19

The ITBP has also issued helpline numbers for admission-related queries at the Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre. The helpline numbers are—011- 26655547, 011- 26655548, 011- 26655549, 011- 26655949, 011- 26655969. Also Read - Delhi Witnesses Dip in Covid Numbers, Registers 377 Fresh Cases; Positivity Rate Stands at 4.97 Per Cent

On Sunday, ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said, “No walk-in admissions will be made. Admission to the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel COVID care centre (SPCCC) will be made on reference by the district surveillance officers (DSOs) of respective Delhi districts. All medical treatment, medicines, food and other facilities will be provided free of cost.”

A brief standard operating procedure (SOP) issued on Sunday said patients after getting reference from a DSO will report at the reception of the SPCCC and after initial documentation their physical examination will be done and subsequently they will be admitted. “A kit will be provided to them after their admission and stress counsellors will also be deputed for the patients,” Pandey said.

Meanwhile, ITBP Director General S S Deswal on Sunday visited the COVID care centre and met a team of doctors and administrative personnel of the force and other organisations who will run the facility that is being reopened on the Delhi government’s request in view of a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases in the city.

Delhi recorded the highest single-day rise in its COVID-19 deaths with 350 more people succumbing to the viral disease on Sunday as well as over 22,000 fresh cases. A team of 50 ITBP and other organisations’ doctors, about 80 paramedics and nursing staff, security personnel of the border guarding force and other administrative staff will run the centre.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had declared on April 22 that the SPCCC, which was made operational in July last year and shut in February this year as coronavirus infections declined in the national capital, was being restarted on the Delhi government’s request as the cases are rising rapidly once again. A total of 11,657 COVID-19 patients were treated at this centre between July-February.

The ITBP was raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression and is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China apart from rendering a variety of roles in the internal security domain of the country.

(With PTI inputs)