The COVID-19 mess in Delhi: Isn’t it time for Mr Kejriwal to resign on moral ground?

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia saying Delhi would soon see over 5 lakh Corona cases and would need 80,000 beds is a surrender. What was the govt doing for this long even after receiving advance warning?

File Photo (PTI Photo)
File Photo (PTI Photo)

Zafar Agha

Disgusting! First, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came up with the statement that private hospitals in Delhi were indulging in ‘black marketing’ to admit patients. Now Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announces that the number of COVID-19 patients in the city may reach 5.5 lakh and Delhi would need 80,000 beds to cope with the galloping numbers of Coronavirus patients. What the hell was the Delhi administration doing till now?

Experts had warned in the middle of May that the count of COVID-19 patients could reach 5 lakhs in Delhi by early July. But the Delhi administration was in deep slumber for almost a month. Now when Coronavirus patients have started dying without getting admitted to any hospital, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi wakes up and makes hoo haa about the number of beds required to deal with pandemic that hit Delhi in February.

Almost four months have gone by since February and the Delhi government had no idea about the gathering storm. The number of Coronavirus patients had been growing by leaps and bounds from March in Delhi. The Kejriwal government, instead of standing up to face the challenge, was busy dressing up the crisis. First, it fudged data on number of patients and deaths in the town.

Then the director of Loknayak Jayparkash Narain Hospital was overnight relieved of his responsibility on a flimsy pretext. His ‘crime’ was that he disclosed the actual number of COVID-19 patients that was much higher than the Delhi government figures.

Now Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia virtually throws up his hands in surrender and almost declares that we are not ready to deal with the situation. Of course, the Delhi government just cannot cope with over 5 lakh patients at one time in the city. Where from will 80,000 beds come in less than a month’s time? What about huge numbers of PPE suits and ventilators required to deal with such an emergency? Just declaring that the government will convert sport stadia into COVID hospital cannot solve the problem. Waking up from deep slumber now, Mr Sisodia, is not going to help Delhiwalalhas.

Right now the situation is pathetic in Delhi. Patients are running between hospitals to get admission and are often being denied admission. I personally know about a COVID patient who tried his luck in four private hospitals but failed to get entry anywhere. He ultimately knocked on the AIIMS doors where he was admitted. But it was already so late that he breathed his last within two hours of getting admitted. Many such stories are already doing rounds of Delhi. Mr Sisodia learns about them only when media starts reporting such cases.

Obviously, the Arvind Kejriwal government has not made any serious preparations to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic that hit Delhi in February. Instead, the government’s PR team was issuing full page advertisements to newspapers to curry favour from the media. The government had all the time and money to spend on its PR exercise but had no time to gear itself to deal with a pandemic which everyone knew was a messenger of death.

Arvind Kejriwal has already failed miserably to deal with a crisis which is a matter of life and death for Delhiwalahs. Mr Kejriwal is no mean a politician. He has been rightly preaching the need to practise moral standards in public life. Isn’t it time for you to resign on moral grounds, Mr Kejriwal? After all, you have failed your voters in their moment of the worst crisis in their lives.

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