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City is for everyone, Delhi govt must plan its health infrastructure: L-G after all-party meet

During the meeting, Principal Secretary (Health) made a detailed presentation on the preparedness and planning of the government regarding declaration of private hospitals as COVID hospitals.

SNS | New Delhi |

After Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday held an all-party meeting to discuss the Coronavirus situation in the national capital, the L-G office said that the city is for everyone and the Delhi government should plan its health infrastructure.

“Discussed issues relating to availability of beds for COVID-19 patients, extensive testing, swift ambulance response, providing critical information in public domain,” tweeted Baijal after the meeting.

He added that the meeting was held in a “very constructive and harmonious atmosphere”. “Many constructive suggestions have been received and all of us need to fight this pandemic together,” he said.

During the meeting, Principal Secretary (Health) made a detailed presentation on the preparedness and planning of the government regarding declaration of private hospitals as COVID hospitals.

The L-G office was informed that the fatality rate in Delhi is 2.92 per cent as compared to the national average of 2.81 per cent, while the recovery rate is 38 per cent.

On overriding the AAP government’s order to admit only Delhi residents in hospitals, L-G Anil Baijal said that the state government’s decision violated the Right to Equality and Right to Life, which also includes right to health. “When it comes to healthcare, access to universal healthcare is the responsibility of the state,” he said.

He further said that as the Lieutenant Governor, he reserves the right to take decisions in the interest of people of Delhi.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Sunday informed that for now Delhi hospitals will be available only for the residents of the city. At the same time, he clarified that hospitals run by the Centre will have no such restriction, and if people from other states come to the national capital for specific surgeries, they can get medical treatment at private hospitals.

He also said private hospitals, except those where surgeries like neurosurgery, are performed would also be kept reserved for Delhi residents.

However, Lt. Governor Anil Baijal overruled the order saying, “treatment should not be denied to any patient on grounds of being a non-resident”.

He also cited Delhi High Court and Supreme Court rulings stating that ‘Right to Health’ is an integral part of ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution.

L-G Anil Baijal had also overruled AAP government’s order allowing COVID-19 test for only symptomatic patients.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that the Lieutenant Governor’s directives will be implemented in letter and spirit while asserting that this was not the time for disagreements or arguments.