‘Recovery rate in city at 92%, government working overtime’

The Delhi government informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that the COVID-19 recovery rate in the Capital is a whopping 92%.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan, for Delhi, said only 5% positivity was detected from 78,090 COVID-19 tests done as of December 2.

When the court asked whether there were any means to cross-check the veracity of these statistics, Mr. Viswanathan said he would place on record the audit mechanism by which these figures were reached. He said these figures were compiled from accredited centres, laboratories and authorities.

“Cases are going down. The situation is being monitored at the highest level. We don’t want to be adversarial. Why did the Centre have to blame us? The Delhi government is working overtime,” Mr. Viswanathan said. He added that the Lieutenant-Governor is in charge of COVID-19 management.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta countered why the Delhi government has to think that the Centre was blaming them. “What is the need to think like that? There is no blame,” Mr. Mehta asked. Mr. Viswanathan said the Delhi government understands the need to treat the pandemic as a national calamity. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had recently filed an affidavit holding the Delhi government responsible for the “massive increase” in COVID-19 infection and the resultant strain on medical infrastructure in the National Capital. On November 30, the Delhi government responded in an affidavit that its “consistent efforts” had seen a “declining trend” in the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Rejecting the Centre’s claim that the Delhi government was ill-prepared for the spike in cases due to the festival season, the affidavit had said the total number of COVID ICU beds available in Delhi is 5010 presently, with an expected increase of another 1522 ICU beds.

Mr. Viswanathan referred to how Chief Minister Kejriwal had written to the Union Home Minister to increase the number of ICU beds by 1,214 in Central government hospitals like AIIMS, Safdarjung, LHMC, RML, etc. It said the Delhi government, notwithstanding this request, had gone ahead to approve the procurement of 1,200 of bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP), a kind of ventilator, from CSIR. It said 300 of these machines would be arriving next week, with an equal number of them coming every week.

“In a short while, we will have 6,200 beds, including the BiPAP ones. If the Centre contributes, we will have more than 7000,” Mr. Viswanathan submitted.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 6:37:12 AM |

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