Thursday, April 22

Covid-19 situation in Capital alarming, says Delhi high court

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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 of reserving 80% ICU beds in 33 private hospitals for Covid-19.

Until Wednesday evening, Delhi had reported 545,787 cases and 8,720 deaths. Currently, there are 38,287 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 apex court against these two orders of September 22 and October 9. The Supreme 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 the Delhi government, 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. Following this, the court posted the matter for further hearing on December 9.