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In view of the steps taken by the Delhi Govt, the Court opined that there was no reason to monitor the issue any further.
Considering the various steps and initiatives taken by the Delhi Government, the Delhi High Court today closed the suo motu proceedings concerning denial of beds and healthcare facilities to COVID-19 patients in the national capital. (Court on its own motion vs GNCT of Delhi)
"By and large, much more care has been taken by Delhi Government. We don't need to monitor it anymore", a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan remarked.
In May 2020, the Court had initiated suo motu proceedings after a video clip of a man struggling to find a hospital bed for his COVID-19 positive mother went viral on social media.
The Court had then appointed Advocate Om Prakash as the Amicus Curiae and closely monitored several aspects pertaining to healthcare facilities in the city.
Today, the Court took on record the status report filed by the Delhi Government and noted the following:
- A Centralised helpline i.e 1031 along with 50 hunting lines is available to enable the public to get information on hospitals etc. These helplines have received more than 37,000 calls.
- Initially, the Delhi Government had 334 ambulances which have been increased to 602, as of July 9, 2020.
- Initial testing rate of 18,000 per day has gone up to 22,000 per day.
- 7.5 lakh buffer Rapid Antigen testing kits are available with the Government. The intended number of buffer testing kits is 11 lakh.
- RT-PCR tests are capped at Rs 2400 considering the high-risk groups.
- Various office orders, directions are issued from time to time for collection of blood samples and the same cannot be denied by government or private hospitals.
- Mobile application has been developed for real-time updation of beds in government and private hospitals.
- Nodal Officers have been appointed by Delhi Government and Central Government.
- Delhi Government has set up a Plasma Bank at two locations where more than 300 plasma samples are available.
In view of the above steps, the Court opined that there was no reason to monitor the issue any further. It nonetheless asked the Delhi Government to ensure that all its directions and office orders are scrupulously followed by the hospitals.
The Court also recorded its appreciation for the efforts put in by Amicus Curiae Advocate Om Prakash.
The suo moto petition was accordingly disposed of.