The Central Government has filed an affidavit before SC blaming Delhi Government for not taking proper steps to contain the spread of COVID 19 in Delhi. The affidavit was filed in a Suo Motu case titled ‘Re: The Proper Treatment of Covid 19 Patients and dignified handling of dead bodies in the hospitals etc.’ The matter is being heard by a bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy, and Justice MR Shah.
In the affidavit, the Centre said that no effective measures have been taken by the Delhi government to prevent infection. It also submitted that GNCTD was aware that the confluence of winter, festival season, and pollution were likely to witness a surge in cases. This foreknowledge ought to have led to strict enforcement and IEC measures being instituted well in time. Still, it was not done and ignored.
It further added that despite repeated announcements in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, the Government did not take steps to enhance testing capacity, particularly for RT-PCR, which remained static at around 20,000 RT- PCR tests for a long time.
Moreover, though the report of a high power committee headed by Dr. VK Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, had recommended that Delhi should plan for a surge of around 15,000 cases per day and accordingly provide for about 6,500 ICU beds. Against this recommendation, GNCTD did not take any timely measures to increase the ICU beds from the present level of around 3,500, thus causing sudden pressure to come on the health and medical infrastructure in Delhi.