‘Situation would’ve been better if Centre..’: Delhi’s health minister defends reserving hospital beds for city residents
Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain on Monday said that the situation due to coronavirus cases in the national capital could have been better if the Centre had stopped international flights in time.
He also said that given that the number of Covid-19 cases are increasing rapidly in Delhi, the residents of the city need to be treated on priority.
“Delhi and Mumbai are the two big metros with international flights coming in. If the Centre had stopped these (international) flights before the coronavirus outbreak spread in India, the situation could have been better and the disease would not have spread as much. Given that the number of cases are increasing rapidly, so we need hospitals to treat city residents,” Jain told news agency ANI.
Watch | ‘If Centre would’ve stopped..’: Satyendar Jain on Delhi’s rising Covid tally
He also said treatment of patients from other states in Delhi hospitals wasn’t an issue as the neighbouring states are saying that they have less number of cases.
Jain’s remarks came a day after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that beds in hospitals under the Delhi government and private hospitals except those where special surgeries like neurosurgery are performed will be reserved for the city’s residents till the Covid-19 crisis eases.
The chief minister justified his decision citing the feedback from a survey on the issue that the government had done a few days ago. He said that around 750,000 people had responded, of whom more than 90% said that hospitals in Delhi should cater only to the residents of the city till the pandemic subsides.
The Delhi government has clarified that the directive was not applicable to central government-run hospitals.
People from other states can still be treated in the national capital’s hospitals that come under the central government. These include the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
Even as the number of coronavirus infections continue to rise in the national capital, Delhi opened its borders with neighbouring states on Monday. Delhi reported 28,936 Covid-19 cases and 812 fatalities on Sunday.