The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre and AAP government to keep track of the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the national capital so as to ensure that medical and testing facilities are adequately available.
The direction by a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad came while declining to entertain a plea seeking directions to nominate all private hospitals for the treatment of coronavirus patients to reduce burden on government hospitals.
Delhi government additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal said the high court was not inclined to interfere with the steps the administration was already taking and only directed that the rising number of COVID-19 patients be kept track of so that adequate medical and testing facilities can be made available.
Aggarwal said the direction came after the high court heard both sides, via video conferencing, and took into consideration the efforts made by the Delhi government.
The detailed order of the court is awaited.
During the hearing, the Delhi government opposed the plea saying only those private hospitals which fulfill central government criteria can be designated for COVID-19 treatment.
The counsel also told the bench that currently, there are two government hospitals -- Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital -- with the capacity of around 2,500 beds and 8 private hospitals, with the additional capacity of around 650 beds, dedicated towards treatment of COVID patients.
"Moreover, many private hospitals are not coming forward to create isolation wards for COVID patients keeping in view of the safety of their doctors, nurses, other staff members and patients and also due to the scare of losing out on patients suffering from other disorders/ diseases and the government is making the best efforts to increase the number of beds in different hospitals in the city," he told the bench.
The petition was moved by Hitesh Bhardwaj, a law student, had sought to include more private hospitals to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic to ease out the situation of overcrowding in the various government hospitals of Delhi.
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