Delhi High Court Pulls Up Kejriwal Govt Over Worsened COVID Situation In Delhi, Seeks Status Report Before Nov 26
The Delhi High Court on Thursday pulled up the Arvind Kejriwal-led administration in the national capital over spike in COVID-19 cases. The High Court raised questions over the AAP government's delay in seeking the Centre's help as citizens continued to battle the deadly virus. The total number of active COVID cases in the national capital has reached 42458 while the death toll has reached nearly 8000.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad also slammed the Delhi government for their delay in introducing measures to curb the virus spread. The bench noted that statements made by the Delhi government to the media were contrary to the submissions they made in the High Court. Pointing out at the ministers had mentioned that the third wave of the Coronavirus had reached its peak and the daily number of cases were declining, however, the same 'is not reflected' in the daily tally.
"You (Delhi government) saw from November 1 which way the wind was blowing. But you turn turtle now because we asked you some questions. The bell should have rung loud and clear when the numbers were spiralling. Why did you not wake up when you saw the situation was deteriorating? Why did we have to shake you out of your slumber on November 11? What did you do from November 1 till November 11? Why did you wait 18 days (till November 18) to make a decision? Do you know how many lives were lost during this period?" the High Court questioned.
HC directs govt to file a status report
The two-judge bench also warned the advocates representing the Delhi government that they could take judicial note of the statements made by the ministers in media. Moreover, it questioned the Delhi government over its preparedness to deal with rising in the number of deaths and required arrangements to cremate or bury.
The High Court bench has directed the AAP government to file a status report before November 26, indicating the funeral/burial arrangements, increase of ICU beds in its hospitals by an additional number of 663 and number of care homes for accommodating those who cannot home quarantine themselves. On November 11, the High Court had questioned the Delhi government for relaxing norms for public movement and gatherings even as COVID-19 cases were increasing with no household left untouched.
Centre steps in to deal with Delhi's COVID situation
A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah Shah held a high-level emergency to take stock of the current COVID-19 situation in Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs listed several measures to curb the rise in cases. As per the instructions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the government will be taking steps including deploying mobile testing labs, adding more beds at COVID hospital wards and ICUs.
In a series of tweets, MHA informed that in order to make testing easily available and accessible, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be helping the Delhi government in deploying a total of 10 mobile COVID-19 testing labs with the capacity of 20,000 tests in a phased manner from next week onwards. This step comes as Shah instructed ICMR and Delhi government were instructed to work together to enhance the RT-PCR testing capacity of the national capital to about 60,000 by the end of November.