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Most aid coming from abroad went to hospitals under Centre and not Delhi govt, court told

When the central government submitted that its hospitals are also for Delhi citizens, the division bench observed that if the equipment has been given to central government hospitals which are Covid facilities, then it is alright.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 11, 2021 8:24:35 pm
Delhi covid newsA dedicated Covid facility in Delhi (Express File/Amit Mehra)

THE DELHI HIGH Court was Tuesday told that the Centre has distributed medical equipment received from abroad mostly among its own hospitals in the national capital, and the aid does not seem to be going to the Delhi government for distribution among state hospitals.

The submission was made by senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao, the amicus curiae, before the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli after perusal of data submitted by the central government. “Perhaps the Delhi government also needs to be given allocation separately,” submitted Rao.

Regarding distribution of medical equipment, Rao submitted, “Whether there is some application of mind is not clear”.

He told the court that as per data submitted on May 9, 50 oxygen concentrators that came from Taiwan have been given to the National Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases (NITRD) and other states like Punjab and Haryana; 11 ventilators, 200 syringe pumps and 28 flexible tubes to Safdarjung Hospital; and 28 respirators have been given to Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC).

The court was also told that AIIMS has been given 500 anti-bacterial filters, machine filters and other related things. In addition, 40 and 45 ventilators, which came from Germany, have been given to Safdarjung Hospital and Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, respectively. Some oxygen concentrators which came from China have been given to DRDO and other states, the court was told.

However, he also told the court that remedesivir had been given to Delhi by the Centre.

When the central government submitted that its hospitals are also for Delhi citizens, the division bench observed that if the equipment has been given to central government hospitals which are Covid facilities, then it is alright. “If they are given for non-Covid hospitals, then that does not serve the purpose,” it said.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing Delhi government, told the court that there are 13 state government hospitals which are designated Covid hospitals, but there is no such hospital of the central government which is a dedicated Covid facility.

“If that be the case, then obviously if an aid is coming to a central government hospital… it could be either for Covid or non-Covid… if that clarification can come on record that these are for Covid facilities,” Mehra added.

The court also questioned the Centre about the issue of distribution of 260 oxygen concentrators to LHMC and said that the hospital would have its own oxygenated beds in any case, and that oxygen concentrators are low-flow equipment for patients who suffer a marginal drop in oxygen saturation.

However, the Centre said there is a requirement of concentrators in hospitals too, and 240 beds are being added at LHMC.

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