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The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Delhi government to conduct an inspection of facilities of night shelter at AIIMS and also directed the government to examine the position with regard to the manner in which the night shelter at AIIMS is being managed by DUSIB, and to undertake all corrective measures, as are called for, without any delay.

The Court gave the order while hearing a PIL filed by Karan Seth seeking directions regarding the treatment and accommodation for hundreds of outstations patients and their attendants who were earlier being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi (AIIMS) for several ailments as AIIMS stand converted into an exclusive facility to treat Covid-19 patients.

Mrs. Rachna Malik, who is a volunteer, and who has been regularly visiting the said night shelter at AIIMS, said before the Court that “there is no potable drinking water facility at the night shelter, and she has been providing drinking water at the said night shelter by purchasing the same.” She also said that “Though the toilets are cleaned twice a day, due to lack of water, they get soiled very fast, and there is also choking off the sewer line.”

Whereas, Mr. Parvinder Chauhan appearing for DUSIB contended that the toilets of the night shelter are separate and they are regularly maintained. Whenever there is choking off the toilets, the same is attended to by DUSIB.

Acting upon the plea, the division bench comprising of Justice Vipin Sanghi & Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, questioned the administration, as two patients and others who were found positive on Covid testing – which are 22 in number, were all occupying the night shelter which falls within the AIIMS premises, we are at loss to understand as to why they were not taken to the AIIMS Covid facility, and why they have been shifted to far off hospitals.

The High Court called upon the Principal Secretary, Health, GNCTD, the concerned Director of DUSIB, and the authorised officer of AIIMS to file their respective affidavits, explaining as to why the said persons were not accommodated at the Covid facility at AIIMS itself, particularly when the patients were, even otherwise, receiving non-Covid treatment at AIIMS itself.

The case has been listed for 27th of May, 2020 for further hearing.

-India Legal Bureau   

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