The Delhi High Court has directed the Central Government and Delhi Government to "keep their hand on the pulse" and monitor the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city for the purposes of proportionately increasing the facilities at hospitals and pathological laboratories, reports legal news website BarandBench.com.
The direction came from a Division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad in a PIL seeking a direction to allow more private hospitals in Delhi to treat COVID-19 patients.
Filed by one Hitesh Bhardwaj, the PIL also sought a direction to allow more pathological laboratories in Delhi to test for COVID-19 infection.
The PIL was premised on reports suggesting that while there were approximately 10,000 COVID-19 patients in Delhi, enough hospitals were not there to provide medical facilities.
It was stated that although the Delhi Government has granted permission to a few private hospitals, they would not be able to cope up with the entire load.
In response to the PIL, Delhi Government informed the court that as per the Revised Guidelines for home isolation issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on May 10, very mild/pre-symptomatic patients could go into self-isolation if they have adequate facilities at their residence.
Only cases with serious signs or symptoms, as specified in the Guidelines, are taken to a hospital, it was said.
The Delhi Government informed the court that the existing strength of beds in all the designated COVID Hospitals in Delhi was about 3150.
With respect to pathological labs, the Central Government submitted that that there were 13 government pathological labs and 15 private labs in Delhi that were permitted to test COVID-19 suspected persons.
In view of the above, the court opined that as of now, no interference was warranted in the matter.
It nonetheless ordered, “However, both Union of India and the Delhi Government are directed to keep their hand on the pulse and keep a tab on the number of cases of COVID-19 that, as we understand, have spiked in Delhi in the past 48 hours so that facilities both at Hospitals and pathological laboratories are proportionately increased, as per the requirement of the patients.”