Centre blames Delhi govt for second wave of Covid in capital

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27

The Centre on Friday blamed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government for worsening COVID-19 situation in the national capital, saying: “That no effective preventive steps to contain the infection.”

In an affidavit in the Supreme Court, it said the Delhi Government was lax in containing COVID-19 and its failure to enforce measures led to a massive increase in the coronavirus infection and increasing strain on the capacity of medical infrastructure in the hospitals.

“The 10 states contribute almost 77 per cent of the active caseload for the country. These are Maharashtra (18.9 per cent) Kerala (14.7 per cent), Delhi (8.5 per cent), West Bengal (5.7 per cent), Karnataka (5.6 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (5.4 per cent), Rajasthan (5.5 per cent), Chhattisgarh (5 per cent), Haryana (4.7 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (3.1 per cent),” it stated.

The affidavit has been filled in response to a suo motu PIL initiated by a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan.

Noting that there were no effective steps to contain the infection, the Centre said: “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.”

It said: “The containment measures, as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) including house to house surveillance, contact tracing, quarantining and clinical management, were also not done properly, which has led to the spread of infection.”

“Patients who were under home isolation were not properly traced and/or their contact were also not traced effectively,” the Centre stated.

“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. While there were regular advertisements on achievements of the 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,” the Centre submitted.

“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 affidavit reads.

“As most of the countries are observing resurgence of COVID cases, given the size and density of our population, the country has done remarkably well in restricting the spread. Our recovery rate has gone up to 93.76 per cent, with almost 8.6 million recoveries made. The average cases per day have reduced by 50 per cent since the past eight weeks,” the Centre said.

“Currently, only two states have more than 50,000 cases and they contribute to almost 33 per cent of the overall active cases. Our case fatality rate remains low at 1.46 per cent, when compared to a global average of 2.36 per cent. We stand at a total death count of 0.13 million. We will continue making efforts to bring our CFR down to less than 1 per cent, and accelerate our efforts in reducing the positivity rate, which stands at 6.9 per cent,” the Centre submitted.

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