New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Centre and Delhi government to take strict action against hospitals that are not providing real-time updates on availability of beds in hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 patients. 

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said that the communication gap between the government and hospitals should be reduced and asked the Delhi government to appoint "dedicated officials" to ensure there are no communication gaps.

The High Court also asked the Central government and Delhi to be strict with officers deployed in COVID-19 hospitals. "If they (officers) are not obeying your order then everything will go in vain," the court observed.

The strong reaction came after amicus curiae Om Prakash told the High Court that there are some deficiencies in real-time updation of COVID-19 bed availability on the websites and mobile app. Prakash submitted that he had made calls to some of the hospitals regarding the availability of beds but did not get a good response.

One of the hospitals was hesitant to share the details initially, but when amicus curiae told the hospital staff about his identity, his call was transferred to another official who thereafter shared the details.

Meanwhile, the High Court praised the effort of the Centre and Delhi government in dealing with issues and said that due to some deficiency, the effective work is being washed out.

The court also asked the government to increase the number of ambulances for COVID and non-COVID patients in the national capital.

Delhi Government counsel and advocate Rahul Mehra told the court that nodal officers have been appointed in centralised hospitals and senior officers have been deployed to take care of emergent matters.

Mehra submitted that they are 15-20 days ahead of today in the preparedness of treating COVID-19 in the national capital and added that it has expedited the process of conducting COVID-19 test and a total of 89,290 rapid antigen tests and RT-PCR tests has been conducted from June 18 to June 22, among which 55,641 were tests conducted through rapid antigen test.

Delhi government also informed the High Court that it is also providing psychological counselling to all the frontline workers and doctors who are undergoing stress or other mental health issues due to their involvement with COVID-19 duties.

In the last hearing, Delhi High Court had directed the Centre and Delhi government to take all necessary steps for ensuring real-time updation of the data for COVID-19 bed availability at all the hospitals in the national capital.

The court was hearing suo motu petition where it had taken cognizance of a video of a Delhi resident sharing his plight after his COVID-19 positive mother was denied a bed and ventilator at a private hospital.

The order by the Delhi High Court comes as Delhi became the worst-hit city from the novel coronavirus, overtaking Mumbai with over 70,000 confirmed infections and over 2,300 deaths. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta