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Delhi likely to have 5.5 lakh Covid-19 cases by July-end: Deputy CM Sisodia

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 10, 2020 Published on June 10, 2020

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia   -  RAMESH SHARMA

Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the national capital will likely have around 5,50,000 coronavirus cases. This comes as the Delhi’s AAP finds itself at loggerheads with the Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal over hospital beds, NDTV reported.

Baijal quashed the Delhi government’s order to reserve beds in its hospitals for Delhi residents. The L-G released a statement late evening, in which he said rather than “discriminating between patients, the goal of the government should be to plan and prepare for adequate infrastructure.” “We are all Indians and Delhi belongs to all!” the L-G’s statement read.

Disappointed with the governor’s move, Sisodia said the cases will spike in July for which more than 80,000 beds are needed. He also accused the governor of not having “any plan” for the surge in hospital admissions.

Community transmission

The Delhi government further criticised the Centre for not acknowledging the fact that Delhi has reached the community transmission stage. This comes as Health Minister Satyendra Yadav could not establish contact tracing in almost 50 per cent of the coronavirus cases.

In a digital press briefing on Sunday, Kejriwal announced that hospitals under the Delhi government and some private ones will be reserved for Delhites till the Covid-19 crisis subsides.

The order was overruled by the L-G on Monday saying that ‘right to health’ has been held as an integral part of the ‘right to life’ under the Constitution by the Supreme Court.

At the meeting, which was chaired by the L-G, Sisodia urged Baijal to reconsider his decision.

“The prediction (of 5.5 lac) is based on the time when the borders were sealed due to lockdown and only residents of the state were coming for treatment to Delhi hospitals. It was considering the surge in COVID cases that the Delhi Cabinet decided to reserve Delhi government and private hospitals for those living in the Capital. Now the decision to open hospitals for all will create obstacles for the people of Delhi,” Sisodia said to media as cited in the NDTV report.

Satyendra Jain said that at any given point of time, nearly 50 per cent of patients treated in Delhi’s private hospitals are from outside the state and the proportion goes up to nearly 70 per cent in government hospitals.

“During the lockdown in both private and government hospitals, the occupancy of people from outside was 10 per cent and only planned surgeries were happening. This could have been continued for some time, but the L-G has not agreed to this,” he said.

The L-G responded to the state ministers by saying he is “fully aware” of the need to ramp up medical infrastructure. “In fact, from time to time several ideas and strategies have been discussed in the SDMA meeting chaired by the L-G to augment the medical infrastructure to meet the rising requirement. In today’s SDMA meeting also, ideas e.g. use of spaces like Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Tyagraj Stadium, JLN Stadium, Pragati Maidan to make large makeshift medical facilities were discussed. It was also decided to utilise banquet halls, marriage places, etc. to ramp up the facilities,” the L-G’s office said.

Baijal has also advised the officers concerned to invoke Section 50 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 for expeditious procurement of materials needed to set up the required infrastructure, it further said.

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Published on June 10, 2020
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