New Delhi (ILNS): The Central Government in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court has blamed the Delhi Government for not taking proper steps to contain the spread of COVID 19 in Delhi.
The affidavit was filed in a Suo Motu case titled ‘Re: The Proper Treatment of Covid 19 Patients and dignified handling of dead bodies in the hospitals etc.’
The Centre has said that that no effective preventive steps were taken to contain the infection.
Further it has been submitted that GNCTD was aware that the confluence of winter, festival season and pollution were likely to witness a surge in cases. This foreknowledge ought to have led to strict enforcement and IEC measures being instituted well in time. However, this was not done.
It has also been submitted that while there were regular advertisements on achievements of Delhi Government, including on dengue prevention and control, no ads on COVID appropriate behaviour were to be seen. The people, at large, were also not apprised about this through regular outreach measures.
Moreover though the report of a high power Committee headed by Dr VK Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, had recommended that Delhi should plan for a surge of around 15,000 cases per day and accordingly provide for about 6,500 ICU beds. Against this recommendation, GNCTD did not take any timely measures to increase the ICU beds from the present level of around 3,500, thus causing a sudden pressure to come on the health and medical infrastructure in Delhi.
The Government further submitted that despite repeated exhortations in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, the Delhi Government did not take steps to enhance testing capacity, particularly for RT-PCR, which remained static at around 20,000 RT- PCR tests for a long time.
Further the containment measures, as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) including house to house surveillance, contact tracing, quaranting and clinical management, were also not done properly, which has led to the spread of infection.
It has also been submitted that patients who were under home isolation were not properly traced or their contact were also not traced effectively.
The matter is being heard by a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah.