Updated: April 27, 2021 1:12:48 pm
THE Delhi High Court on Tuesday told the Delhi government that it cannot fight the “war” against the Covid-19 pandemic by issuing “unreasonable orders” to the hospitals, adding that it seems the government authorities are completely out of sync with the ground reality.
The division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli made the observation after Maharaja Agrasen Hospital told the court that it is impossible to follow the government direction asking them to provide oxygen and medicine within 10-15 minutes of a patient reaching the emergency.
“We don’t have oxygen and are running low on medicine. The entire emergency is occupied and the patient’s oxygen level is 54 or 58. If we remove that oxygen, that patient is going to die. No one is there to tell us that if you cannot admit them, where are they to go. The patients cannot be occupying emergency. I cannot have a situation where I have to remove a patient’s mask who’s at a level of 55 or 54 saying ‘I will discharge you right now’. I cannot kill a person just because there is a government order saying I have to admit another person,” advocate Alok Kr. Aggarwal representing the hospital told the court.
The division bench said that it seems that the authorities are passing instructions, orders and threatening communication as if they are living in some different world. “You are completely out of sync and you do not know what the ground reality is. You do not know how hospitals are coping up with the situation. What is the inflow of people, shortage of oxygen and medicine, doctors and paramedics. Why do you come up with these orders? We do not understand,” said the court.
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It added that it would understand if the government takes action if it has made some inspection to a particular hospital or nursing home where it has found insufficiency or people not discharging their duty.
“So far, as possible they (hospitals) are doing. You think you have discharged duty by issuing this kind of order and the public will be happy that the government has issued this kind of order. Let us tell you this is nothing but a paper exercise. You are just satisfying your own conscience probably,” said the division bench.
The court further said the authorities will achieve nothing by being unreasonable in these circumstances. “You cannot fight this war by being unreasonable sitting at your offices by issuing these kinds of orders,” it added, while asking the government counsel to seek instructions.
Advocate Satyakam, representing the government, told the court that if the state had sufficient medical oxygen, the problems would not have occurred.
The division bench will soon resume hearing in the cases in which it has been monitoring the prevalent COVID-19 situation in Delhi. It said the cases would be heard after the ongoing hearing in Supreme Court, regarding similar issues like oxygen shortage, concludes.
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