Ayushman Ojha & Lalit Kumar Singh, Ground Report:
The Covid-19 Positive cases are rising rapidly in Delhi and it is close to the toll of 30,000 with more than 800 deaths. Amid the corona crisis in the capital, CM Arvind Kejriwal yesterday announced that “Only Delhiites will get beds in private, Delhi govt-run hospitals”. This came into effect from today but later the day LG Anil Baijal overruled CM’s decision.
Lieutenant Governor in an order on Monday said “Everyone will be treated in Delhi without “discrimination”, asserting that treatment “should not be denied to any patient on grounds of being a non-resident”. He referred to the Supreme Court saying in various judgments that “Right to Health” is an integral part of “Right to Life” in the constitution.
The situation became more abysmal in Delhi because the testing was stalled for some time and still this is the situation in some hospitals. Delhi’s testing protocol is tighter than the Indian Council of Medical Research’s. Tests are restricted to symptomatic individuals. Even direct contacts of infected people can be tested only if they are senior citizens or have co-morbidities. On top of it this order just worsens the situation those who are in Delhi for their treatment of any kind.
A late night order on Sunday signed by Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla said increased interstate movement would put more load on both Covid and non-Covid hospitals in Delhi, as patients approach them “from other parts of the country”. This decision was taken seeing the surge in cases and which resulted in additional requirements of beds and infrastructure. “…It is hereby ordered that all the hospitals operating under Government of NCT of Delhi and all the private hospitals & nursing homes shall ensure that only bona fide residents of NCT of Delhi are admitted for treatment in these hospitals. However, transplantation, oncology, neurosurgeries will continue to function for all patients, irrespective of the place of residence. However, treatment relating to oncology, transplantation, neurosurgery shall continue for all patients, irrespective of the place of residence. Also any medico-legal victims of road accidents, acid attacks happening within NCT of Delhi will continue for all patients, irrespective of place of residence,” the order said.
There are 38 health facilities, including AYUSH hospitals, under the Delhi government, with a combined bed capacity of around 11,000.As of Sunday, 2,915 of the total 4,176 beds in the four dedicated Covid-19 hospitals under the Delhi government were vacant, records showed but to take preventive measures based on a report, the Delhi govt. took this step. The five-member [Dr Verma] committee assessed the situation and found that by the end of June, Delhi will require around 15,000 beds to treat corona patients. This is surely for the betterment of the Delhiites but seeing the pressure centre-run hospitals where only 174 of the total 1,502 beds available indicated that there will be havoc and things will go south.