Written byShalini Ojha
Union Home Minister Amit Shah started his week by chairing an important all-party meeting, called to assess the coronavirus situation in Delhi, which isn't making any positive headway.
Besides the ruling AAP, BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party, and Bahujan Samaj Party were part of this interaction, where more testing, making more beds available, and capping the rates in private facilities remained in focus.
At 41,182 cases, Delhi clocked 1,327 deaths, one of the worst rates in the country. Last week, taking suo motu cognizance of the worrying situation, the Supreme Court lambasted the Delhi government, run by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, for reducing the number of tests.
The inhumane treatment meted to those dying of COVID-19 also invited the bench's fury.
Soon, a notice was served to the Delhi government.
In today's meeting, Congress reportedly demanded COVID-19 testing for all and financial aid of Rs. 10,000 for kin of the infected.
Congress said those willing to get themselves tested for the contagious disease must not be stopped, arguing that a sense of fear has crept into the lives of Delhiites.
The party suggested hiring final year medical students as non-permanent resident doctors.
Reportedly, Shah and L-G Anil Baijal, the Centre's representative in Delhi, assured there will be testing for all.
Delhi BJP Chief, Adesh Kumar Gupta, who was a part of the meeting, said Shah assured testing will reach 18,000 per day by June 20.
The demand for waiving 50% charges on testing was also approved by Shah, Gupta, who got the top-post recently, said.
The meeting, however, wasn't sans a political slugfest. Delhi Congress Chief Anil Kumar slammed Kejriwal for blaming private hospitals and misleading the public about the deteriorating condition.
"We have submitted evidence to Home Minister Amit Shah, he has sent that for a probe by Health Secy. Construction of 3 large hospitals, with 2,609 beds, should have been completed by December 2019," he said.
Further, he added, "Kejriwal had announced of providing compensation of Rs. 1 crore for next of the kin of corona warriors. But that compensation has not been provided yet. We have requested that the compensation be immediately provided so that they don't lose their morale."
This was the second crucial meeting which Shah held. Yesterday, he met Baijal, Kejriwal, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, and AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria.
During the "productive meeting," it was decided that testing will be tripled and Centre assured 500 railway coaches to increase Delhi's beds capacity by 8,000.
Strict surveillance would happen in containment zones too, reports said.
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