Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the move to reserve beds for COVID-19 patients in several private hospitals in Delhi was to “mitigate the spread of virus” and those levelling allegations on the government were trying to “jeopardise efforts” being made for people’s welfare.
A plea in the Delhi High Court has challenged the September 13 order of the Delhi government, directing 33 private hospitals to reserve at least 80 per cent of their total ICU bed strength for COVID-19 patients.
“The decision to reserve beds for COVID-19 patients stems out of sheer concern to mitigate spread of virus. Those putting allegations against the Delhi government are trying to jeopardise the efforts made by us for the welfare of our citizens,” he said.
Mr Jain made the assertion in a Facebook post and also shared a news article related to the issue.
The national capital recorded 22 COVID-19 fatalities on Friday, taking the death count to 5,946, while 3,428 fresh cases took the infection tally to over 3.24 lakh, authorities said. These fresh cases came out of the 58,145 tests conducted the previous day.
On October 10 and September 29 as well, 48 fatalities were reported in the city, the highest number of deaths recorded in a day since July 16, when Delhi saw 58 fatalities.
The tally of active cases on Friday slightly rose to 22,814 from 22,605 the previous day. The number of containment zones in Delhi also slightly increased to 2,747 from 2,727 on Thursday.
The Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing in the past few days, with the count on several times crossing the 60,000-mark.
The government on Friday told the Delhi High Court that the policy decision directing 33 big private hospitals to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients was taken as a stop-gap and temporary measure with an intent to mitigate the surge of coronavirus cases in the national capital.
In an affidavit filed before Justice Navin Chawla, the AAP government vehemently denied that the decision, which was stayed by the high court on September 22, was in violation of any fundamental right of the citizens of Delhi and termed the petition by “Association of Healthcare Providers” as wholly misplaced and baseless.
The high court granted one week time to the petitioner association, which claims that the 33 private hospitals against whom the order was passed are its members and sought to quash the order to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds for COVID-19 patients, to file rejoinder to the government’s affidavit and listed the matter for further hearing on November 18.
The government has already challenged the single judge’s stay order before a division bench which has listed it for hearing on November 27.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the government, said there is a prediction that in the upcoming festive season, the number of COVID-19 cases will go up.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)