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Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Opinion | Shut out nobody

Coronavirus is a threat to everyone. Health facilities may be under pressure right now, but anyone who is in the capital should have access to medical care

A Delhi government decision to reserve hospitals under its administration and private ones in the city for the treatment of the capital’s residents has reportedly been “overruled" by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal. It had also been challenged in the Delhi high court. As a matter of principle, any such policy of selective admission deserves to be set aside. It is not in consonance with the ethos of our Constitution, which considers every citizen equal. Nor should a capital shut its healthcare facilities to those who do not have documents to prove they live there.

Given our health crisis, the extra paperwork needed should be enough to reject such an ill-conceived plan. Coronavirus is a threat to everyone. Health facilities may be under pressure right now, but anyone who is in the capital should have access to medical care. The argument that bona fide residents should get priority is a short step away from setting up other exclusion criteria. As with any pandemic, our approach must strictly be neutral. If one state tries to filter patients as “outsiders", it may not be long before sub-nationalist instincts emerge elsewhere in India. In times of stress, unity must prevail.

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