The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has issued notices to the Government of NCT of Delhi and Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry on a complaint making serious allegations about the difficulties being faced by the general public in Delhi, due to non-availability of beds in the hospitals for the Covid-19 patients and inadequate number of tests leading to a grim state of affairs and mismanagement, resulting in death of a large number of people.
The Commission has observed that the complainant, Mr.Ajay Maken, Ex-President, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, has not come up with mere allegations, rather he has made apparent sincere efforts to provide data in support of his complaint, which if true, raise serious issue of inappropriate approach of the government agencies towards the plight of the general public amounting to a serious issue of violation of human rights.
The Commission added that it would appreciate if both the Government of NCT of Delhi and Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry consider the matter in consultation with each other to ensure a comprehensive report within ten days. In the meantime, the government of NCT of Delhi is expected to increase the number of beds and tests per day, for the Covid-19 patients.
The Commission has further observed that there have been many complaints coming to its notice from across the country relating to the difficulties being faced by the general public in getting timely medical treatment for Covid-19 illness and the national capital has been no exception.
According to the complaint, received by the Commission on 9th June, 2020, the Covid-19 positive and its suspected patients are running from one hospital to another for admission, but the hospitals are turning them back. The chart provided by the complainant indicates that the NCT of Delhi has a robust hospital infrastructure of 57,194 beds. It has a significant presence of Central government Hospitals also but it is painful to see that only 12% of the Delhi Government, 8% of the Central Government institutions and 7% of the Private Hospital beds are presently occupied and are being used to treat Covid-19 patients.
Suo-motu cognizance was also taken of such matters including one relating to death of a 32 year old Delhi Police constable, who lost to the deadly virus because he was not admitted in the hospital in time.
The complainant has referred to the recommendations made by Dr Mahesh Verma Committee, estimating a requirement of 42,000 beds by mid-July. It also stated that 20% of the beds in Delhi should be ventilator equipped. Hence, Delhi presently requires 1,700 ventilators, and by mid-July, around 10000 ventilators. As stated, there are only 472 ventilators dedicated for Covid-19 patients in Delhi. Hence in order to protect the lives of the residents of Delhi, there is extreme need to enhance the number of ventilators, immediately.
Praying for immediate intervention of the Commission in the matter to protect human lives in Delhi, the Complainant has also invited its attention towards another issue that the Delhi Government has tweaked and relaxed the definition of containment zones.