Delhi L-G overrules order to reserve hospitals for Delhi residents
After the Delhi government issued an order reserving hospitals in the city for "bonafide residents," Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday overruled the order. The order was issued as Delhi reopened its borders. CM Arvind Kejriwal had attributed the decision to a government panel and suggestions from city residents. The controversial order was also challenged in the Delhi High Court.
According to Times Now, Baijal, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), has overruled the Aam Aadmi Party government's order. The Delhi L-G has now directed departments and authorities of the National Capital Territory of Delhi to ensure that no patient is denied treatment on the grounds that they are not residents of Delhi.
On Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that the city government hospitals and private hospitals will be reserved for Delhi residents, with some exceptions. Kejriwal said a five-member panel formed by the government also suggested the reservation, predicting a spike in COVID-19 cases. Out of 7.5 lakh residents' suggestions on the matter, 90% agreed with the decision, Kejriwal added.
An order issued Sunday night reserved hospitals under the Delhi government, along with private hospitals and nursing homes, for "bonafide residents of the NCT of Delhi." The order listed the valid documents needed for treatment in Delhi. These included a voter ID, Aadhaar card issued before June 7, 2020, bank or post office passbook, ration card, the latest water/telephone/electricity bill, etc.
Two separate petitions challenged the order in the Delhi HC on Monday. One of the petitions, filed by advocates Abhay Gupta and Prashant Arora, claimed the order was in violation of the basic fundamental right to health of the public at large. The second petition was filed by advocate Gautam Kumar and law student Gaurav Sarkar, permanent residents of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively.
Till Sunday, Delhi had reported 28,936 COVID-19 cases with 812 deaths. Delhi has witnessed a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few days. The five-member panel formed by the Delhi government has estimated that Delhi is likely to see at least one lakh COVID-19 cases by end of June. The panel had hence asked the Delhi government to arrange an additional 15,000 beds.