Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday said that LG Anil Baijal’s order on keeping hospitals in the capital open to non-residents will be implemented in “letter and spirit.”
“This is not the time for disagreements or arguments. This is not the time for political disagreements. Unless all of us come together in this fight, we will not be able to defeat the virus,” Kejriwal said today in a briefing. “If we keep fighting among ourselves, the virus will win,” he said.
His measured and restrained tone was in sharp contrast to the statements made by other senior ministers and AAP leaders, including Sisodia, who had categorically said that the BJP, “which forced the L-G to strike down the Cabinet decision would be responsible for deaths on account of Covid in the city”.
Kejriwal said that Delhi will need 80,000 beds by July-end, but since people from other states are also allowed admission now, the actual requirement could be of over 1.5 lakh beds. The CM based his assessment on the trend of people from other states accounting for over 50 per cent occupancy in Delhi’s hospitals during non-Covid times.
“The Centre has taken a decision and the L-G has implemented an order. There is no room for disagreements now. The decision of the L-G has to be implemented. There is no dispute on this subject anymore and I want to make this clear to everyone, including our own party,” Kejriwal said.
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday issued two orders that struck down key announcements made by the Delhi government in the past week — to reserve beds in private and Delhi government hospitals for residents of Delhi and to limit the scope of Covid-19 testing. On Sunday, Kejriwal had announced that beds in Delhi’s private hospitals and in hospitals run by the state government would be reserved for residents of Delhi until the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
In the order issued in his capacity as chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Baijal pointed out that the Supreme Court had time and again upheld the right to health as an integral part of “Right to Life” under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the number of cases will soar to 5.5 lakh by the end of July, with around 80,000 hospital beds needed, even as the government warned that in around half the current cases, the source of infection is unknown.
COVID-19 cases in the national capital breached the 31,000 mark on Tuesday with 1,366 fresh cases, while the death toll mounted to 905
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