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Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal. (ANI)
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal. (ANI)

Delhi LG overrules AAP govt’s order on treatment of covid patients

All govt and private hospitals and nursing homes situated in the NCT of Delhi to extend medical facilities to all covid-19 patients coming for monitoring/treatment without any discrimination of being residents of NCT of Delhi, says an order issued by the LG

NEW DELHI : A day after the state government’s controversial decision, Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal on Monday overruled the order on reserving beds in private and state government hospitals.

On Sunday, in a cabinet meeting chaired by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the government decided that Delhi government along with private hospitals will be reserved for the treatment of residents of Delhi. While central government and speciality private hospitals will be allowed for the treatment of people from across the country. The decision by the government was taken to ensure that Delhi hospitals do not fill up.

“All government and private hospitals and nursing homes situated in the NCT of Delhi to extend medical facilities to all covid-19 patients coming for monitoring/treatment without any discrimination of being residents of NCT of Delhi," the order issued by the LG said.

The order said that it is to be ensured that treatment is not denied to any patient on grounds of not being a resident of Delhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government had invited suggestions from the public on the opening of borders and hospital facilities. According to the government, a majority of the suggestions received said that the facilities should be for residents of Delhi until the covid-19 crisis. There are 10,000 beds in central government hospitals and 10,000 beds in state government hospitals in Delhi.

According to the Delhi government order on hospitals, anyone with a valid proof of residence in Delhi would be provided treatment in hospitals.

The Delhi government is already facing a challenge of adequate facilities. With the growing number of cases, reports of patients being denied admission in hospitals also continue to increase. Delhi has approximately 30,000 cases of covid-19.

The Delhi government and the LG have been in a constant tussle in the past over various issues including bureaucratic appointments. Delhi is a special state wherein matters of land, law and order come under the central home ministry.

Petitions have been filed in Delhi High Court challenging the Delhi government's order directing all hospitals under it and the private ones to only admit "bona fide" residents of the national capital for treatment. One of the petitions by Gautam Kumar stated that the order is against The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, as it does not confer power on Delhi government to restrict the treatment of the individuals on the basis of residence. The plea submitted that the government is not only discriminating the individuals for treatment from the present pandemic, but on the contrary the same act will lead to escalation of COVID cases as the infected individuals will not be identified which will further add fuel to the fire.

Another plea by Abhijit Mishra contended that the state government’s order is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India as the same threatens the life of the individual.

Prathma Sharma contributed to the story.

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