Situation in Delhi ‘alarming’, says HC, defers beds reservation matter
Calling the surge in Covid-19 cases in the capital “alarming”, the Delhi high court on Thursday said it would hear, on December 9, a plea by the Association of Healthcare Providers challenging the state government’s decision to reserve 80% ICU beds in 33 private hospitals for Covid-19 patients.
Until Thursday, Delhi had reported 551,262 cases and 8,811 deaths. Currently, there are 38,734 active cases.
Justice Navin Chawla said, “The numbers are presently in alarming state. The matter should be heard after two weeks looking at the present situation.”
Through an order on September 12, the Delhi government had asked 33 private hospitals in the city to reserve 80% ICU beds for Covid-19 patients. This order was stayed by the high court on September 22 on a petition by the Association of Healthcare Providers.
Later, on October 9, a division bench of the court took up an appeal by the Delhi government, refusing to vacate the stay while adjourning the matter to November 27. The AAP government approached the Supreme Court against these two orders of September 22 and October 9. The apex court refused to interfere with the HC order, staying the AAP government’s instruction to private hospitals.
On November 12, a division bench of justice Hima Kohli and justice Subramonium Prasad vacated the stay considering the increase in the number of cases in the city. The court had also posted the matter for further hearing before a single bench for November 26.
On Thursday, appearing for Delhi, additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain said the situation was being reviewed periodically and review meetings were being conducted under the chairmanship of the Union home minister.
In a status report filed through advocate Sanjoy Ghose, additional standing counsel of the Delhi government, a meeting was conducted on November 17 under the chairmanship of the Special secretary, Health.
“There has been a rise of more than 200% and consequently there is a shortage of both Covid ICU beds for clinically severely ill patients and normal Covid beds for clinically moderate to mild patients, respectively,” the minutes of the meeting said.
The court will now hear the matter on December 9.