FOLLOWING A request from the Delhi High Court, the Delhi government has ordered Ashoka Hotel, a five-star facility, to set aside 100 rooms for a Covid Health Centre for judges and judicial officers of the court and their families. The facility will be linked to Primus Hospital in Chanakyapuri.
An order to this effect was passed by the Chanakyapuri Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Geeta Grover, on Sunday.
It comes when families of Covid patients across the national capital are scrambling to get beds and access to hospital care. The High Court itself has made several observations critical of the Centre and the Delhi government on this issue while hearing pleas on the Covid crisis. On April 22, when dealing with the issue of hospital beds, Justice Vipin Sanghi had observed: “It is a four-fold increase (in cases).
People are not getting beds. Forget about the ordinary man on the road. Even if I were to ask for a bed, I would not get it easily.”
On Monday, Delhi recorded 20,201 cases, with a positivity rate of 35 per cent, and 380 deaths.
SDM Grover’s order states: “A request has been received from Delhi High Court for setting up of CHC facility for the Hon’ble Justices and other judicial officers of Delhi High Court and their families. Now, therefore, I, Geeta Grover… in exercise of powers…and in overall imminent public interest, do hereby require the 100 rooms of Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi for setting up of Covid Health facility for the use of Hon’ble Justices and other judicial officers of Delhi High Court and their families and place at the disposal of Primus Hospital, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi with immediate effect…”
The Registrar General of the Delhi High Court, Manoj Jain, did not receive calls or respond to text messages from The Indian Express seeking comment.
Grover confirmed to The Indian Express that the order had been passed. “It will take at least till the end of the week for the facility to become operational. It will be only for judges, HC staff and their families, as is mentioned in the order,” she said.
Ashoka Hotel is owned and operated by India Tourism Development Corporation Limited, a Government of India undertaking. ITDC has been trying to find a private player to operate the property for a while now.
Previously, 22 hotels in the city were linked to hospitals to help increase the number of beds for Covid patients. These are paid facilities, where patients with severe symptoms cannot be admitted. Each room is supposed to have an oxygen facility.
According to Sunday’s order, hotel staff will be provided protective gear and basic training. All the services, including rooms, housekeeping, disinfection and food, for the patients shall be provided by the hotel. Charges shall be collected by the hospital, which will pay the hotel. Biomedical waste disposal will be the responsibility of the hospital.
Primus Hospital can also accommodate their doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff at the hotel on its own expense after deciding the rates with the hotel.
According to a previous order for other hotels to be linked to hospitals, the hospital will be paid not more than Rs 5,000 per patient per day, inclusive of consumables, services of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and nursing staff.
“Investigation charges, if any, shall be charged by the linked hospital at their scheduled rates and for oxygen support the linked hospital is allowed to charge at the hotel Rs 2,000 per day basis. The medical services provided by the linked hospital at their facility shall be charged at their respectively schedule rates,” the earlier order stated.
Officials said the same rules will also apply in the case of Ashoka Hotel.
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