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[COVID-19] Delhi HC directs Govt to consider as representation petitions to cap hospital fees, acquire sufficient medical infrastructure

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today directed the Delhi Government to consider as representation petitions concerning various issues in the healthcare sector on account of COVID-19 pandemic.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan was hearing several petitions challenging the Delhi Government's decision to exclude asymptomatic direct contacts of confirmed cases from COVID-19 testing.

However, in light of the order passed by the Lt-Gov Anil Baijal in his capacity as Chairperson of Delhi Disaster Management Authority, allowing the testing of asymptomatic direct contacts of confirmed cases, the challenge had become infructuous and the Petitioners chose not to press it any further.

Order allowing Asymptomatic testing
Order allowing Asymptomatic testing

The Court nonetheless directed the Delhi Givernment to consider the other prayers and grievances raised in the petitions.

The Court directed the Delhi Government to consider the petitions as representation and decide them as soon as possible.

Petitioner Vineet Wadhwa had sought to cap the fee being charged by private hosiptals for COVID-19 treatment. In his petition through Advocate Praveen Chauhan, the Wadhwa had also prayed for a direction to ensure the availability and prominent display of data on the availability of beds in hospitals.

In his petition filed through Advocates Arjun Syal, Manjira Dasgupta and Vidhisha Kumar, 2-year old Kairav Nayar had also sought information on the total capacity, availability of all COVID Care Centre, COVID Hospital, Extended Hospitals, etc along with the number of ventilators.

Kairav had also prayed for an increase in responsive helpline, setting up an immediate response cell, strict compliance of guidelines on admission of severe cases of COVID-19 in hospitals and acquisition of sufficient medical infrastructure such as ventilators.

Petitions, which solely pertained to the challenge to the exclusion of asymptomatic testing, including the ones preferred by Advocate Abhay Gupta, Gaurav Prakash Shah, Lokesh Mishra were not pressed and were accordingly disposed of.

Meanwhile, another petition concerning the issues related to the condition of "homeless persons with mental illness" was also referred to the Delhi Government as a representation.

Petitioner, Advocate Gaurav Bansal, claimed that there were as many as 2 lakh homeless persons on the streets and they were living under extreme hardship during the pandemic.

Yesterday, the Court had issued notice in two petitions concerning the Delhi Government's decision to exclude asymptomatic direct contacts of confirmed cases from COVID-19 testing.

Petitioner Lokesh Sharma was represented by Advocate Ankit Kumar.

Petitioner Gaurav Prakash Shah was represented by Advocate Akash Sinha.

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