New Delhi has reversed orders pertaining to limiting the scope of coronavirus testing and the reservation of hospital beds for residents of other cities as the caseload in the Indian capital continues to increase.
The number of sick people in the city jumped to 29,943 on Tuesday, indicating the fifth highest figures in the world of India's 266,598 cases.
The government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has given priority to investing in healthcare since coming to power in 2013. The capital has India's best healthcare attracting patients from all over the country.
Yet the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus has risen in the capital, as lockout restrictions have eased. Kejriwal announced on Sunday, 7th June 2020, that hospital beds for COVID-19 patients would be reserved for residents of the city and only those with symptoms would be tested on.
But the central government strongly opposed the decision, in line with which the Delhi government set it aside on late Monday, 8th June 2020. Commenting on it, Kejriwal tweeted "Making medical arrangements for citizens from across the country during the Covid-19 pandemic is a major challenge. But maybe it is the will of God that we should serve everybody in the country.”
The Delhi government has directed 22 private hospitals to reserve more beds for coronavirus patients, revising its earlier allocation limit. In an official order, it has directed 22 private hospitals to allocate 2,015 extra beds for coronavirus patients.
The rising number of cases has not just become a cause for concern but also led to a political war of words, with Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir criticizing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government for the rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the national capital. Accusing Mr.Kejriwal of lying since the first day when the pandemic broke out, Mr.Gambhir said all the claims made by the AAP dispensation on health infrastructure in the city have fallen flat.
The hospitals have also been told to admit COVID-19 patients as per the revised allocation of beds and update the data at the ‘Delhi Corona’ app with immediate effect.
In another official order, the Delhi Government asked hospitals and private facilities to display information prominently on the availability of beds at their main gates on a flex board.
It comes in the wake of many families, whose members may have been a positive or suspected COVID-19 participant, claiming they have been turned away by different hospitals despite having available beds.
The order says the decision has been taken to provide first-hand information to people about the position of vacant beds in the city government hospitals and private facilities.
The flex board should be of dimension 12 ft by 10 ft and placed at the entry gate of all such hospitals, it said.
The text on the boards will contain information about the Delhi Corona App and the Delhi Fights Corona website address so that people can check the availability of beds, the order said.
Also, the board should display if a hospital refuses bed despite the availability of the app, in which case a complaint may be filed on helpline 1031.