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Provide real-time data on Covid-19, HC tells Delhi govt and Centre

By Richa Banka
PUBLISHED ON JUN 09, 2020 10:30 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre and the Delhi government to update data in real-time on their mobile phone applications meant to disseminate information about availability of beds and other healthcare which is being provided to the patients of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) .

A bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice Prateek Jalan also directed the Centre and the Delhi government to carry out testing as far as far as possible, subject to availability of testing kits with priority being given to the persons approaching for test on the recommendation of a doctor.

The court’s directions to the authorities came while hearing a plea it had initiated itself on the basis of a video clip of a man who had to run from pillar to post to get his mother hospitalised after she tested Covid-19 positive.

On Monday, a detailed order of which was uploaded on the Delhi High Court website on Tuesday, the bench said that if any committee is appointed by Delhi government, it will also take note of the fact that the mobile application of the government should have real-time data.

Advocate Om Prakash, amicus curiae in the case said that the mobile application namely “Delhi Corona Mobile Application”, developed by Delhi government, is not being updated regularly. He also submitted that there is a mismatch of the facts and data released by the government and private hospitals in Delhi especially with regard to the availability of beds and ventilators.

He also contended that some of the hospitals run by Centre and the Delhi government are not updating the data

Advocate Rahul Mehra, standing counsel (criminal), Delhi government and advocate Anuj Aggarwal, additional standing counsel for the Delhi government, told the court that told the capacity of 1031 helpline would be increased by adding more hunting lines so that more calls can be attended without any delay or waiting time.

In an affidavit filed in the court, the Delhi government also told the court that much of the district-wise distribution data that Delhi receives from ICMR is incorrect, resulting in inordinate delay in the geo-station mapping carried out by authorities/agencies.

“Thus, there is usually a delay caused in contacting the patient who has tested positive after he has received the lab-report and in the meantime patients tend to panic. The new helpline is aimed to cater to such patients only, especially during the first 24 to 36 hours, who have tested positive and are scared, yet clueless as to what should be their next course of action. The helpline would help them resolve issues pertaining to availability of ambulances and free medical consultation with a doctor,” the affidavit read.

The government also said that they are adding more ambulances in the existing fleet. Following submissions from both sides, the court remarked, “it appears that there is a need of real time updation of the data by all hospitals including the Delhi government, the central government and private hospitals”.

The bench asked both the authorities to file their replies with regards to the suggestion of the amicus curiae about availability of hospitals having multi speciality facilities for the corona patients.

The matter would be now heard on June 25.

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