L-G overrules Delhi govt. order to restrict COVID-19 treatment

Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, on Monday overruled the Aam Aadmi Party government’s decision to restrict COVID-19 treatment and admission at both private and State-run city hospitals to those bearing documented proof of residence in Delhi.

In another order, the L-G directed that guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research regarding testing of contacts of patients be followed “without any deviation”, effectively overturning the AAP government’s order for COVID-19 test only for symptomatic patients.

In two late-night orders on Monday, the Delhi government’s Health and Family Welfare Department “set aside” its Sunday order restricting treatment to residents of Delhi and also the June 2 order pertaining to asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 patients.

CM’s COVID-19 test

The L-G’s orders came on the eve of a crucial meeting of the DDMA with representatives of the Delhi government to reassess the Capital’s strategy to tackle the novel coronavirus threat. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was earlier scheduled to attend the meeting on Tuesday but his deputy Manish Sisodia will now now fill in for him as the former will undergo a COVID-19 test after complaining of fever and irritation in his throat.

In his order on treatment in city hospitals, the L-G made it clear that the Supreme Court had “invariably held in several successive judgments that ‘Right to Health’ is an integral part of ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution”. He directed all departments and authorities concerned to ensure that monitoring/treatment is not denied to any COVID-19 patient on the ground of not being a resident of NCT of Delhi.

In the other order he specified that all categories of people, including asymptomatic, as prescribed by the ICMR, should be examined in the national capital. Clause 5 of the ICMR’s testing strategy directs testing of asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Delhi government had revised this by removing “asymptomatic” from the clause.

Mr. Kejriwal, in a tweet, said the L-G’s order had created “a huge challenge for the people of Delhi”. “May God bless us to serve the people of the whole country. We will try to provide treatment to all (sic).”

Mr. Sisodia accused the BJP of putting pressure on Mr. Baijal. “BJP-run state governments are busy with PPE kit scams and ventilator scams. Delhi government is trying to manage this disaster thoughtfully and honestly. BJP can’t accept this and that is why they are doing this cheap politics by putting pressure on the LG,” he tweeted.

Later in a video, Mr. Sisodia said, “If tomorrow, due to your decisions all beds gets filled, who will be responsible if a death happens? Will BJP take responsibility that not one death will happen in Delhi? What BJP has done is wrong. And I want to say again, take back this decision.”

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 1:02:53 AM |

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