‘Lax’ Kejri govt didn’t examine Covid surge, Centre tells SC


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27

The Centre on Friday blamed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government for the worsening Covid situation in the national capital, saying it has taken “no effective preventive steps to contain the spread of the virus”.

containment measures flouted

Containment measures, as prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, including house-to-house surveillance, contact tracing, quarantining and clinical management, were also not followed properly. Govt affidavit

In an affidavit in the Supreme Court (SC), the Centre said the Delhi Government was lax in containing Covid and its failure to enforce measures led to massive rise in infection and increased strain on the capacity of medical infrastructure in hospitals.

“Ten states contribute to almost 77 per cent of the active caseload in the country. These are Maharashtra (18.9%), Kerala (14.7%), Delhi (8.5%), West Bengal (5.7%), Karnataka (5.6%), Uttar Pradesh (5.4%), Rajasthan (5.5%), Chhattisgarh (5.0%), Haryana (4.7%) and Andhra Pradesh (3.1%),” it stated.

The affidavit has been filed in response to a suo motu PIL initiated by a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. On Friday, the Bench took suo motu cognisance of the Rajkot hospital fire that claimed six lives. Terming the incident shocking, the Bench sought a report from the Gujarat Government by Tuesday. It said relevant guidelines were not implemented by states and there was laxity in the inspection of electrical lines.

The SC has asked states to follow the Covid protocol.

The Centre said, “Despite repeated exhortation in the wake of rising Covid cases, the Delhi Government did not take steps to enhance the testing capacity, particularly for RT-PCR, which remained static at around 20,000 RT-PCR tests for a long time.”

“The containment measures, as prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, including house-to-house surveillance, contact tracing, quarantining and clinical management, were also not followed properly, which has led to the spread of virus. Patients who were under home isolation were not properly traced.

“The government was aware that the confluence of winter, festival season and pollution were likely to witness a surge in Covid cases. This foreknowledge ought to have led to strict enforcement of Covid rules. However, this was not done,” it said.

“While there were regular advertisements on the achievements of the Delhi Government, including on dengue prevention and control, ads on Covid appropriate behaviour were nowhere to be seen. People, at large, were also not apprised of it through regular outreach measures,” the Centre submitted.

“The report of a high-powered 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, the government did not take any timely measure to increase the ICU beds from the present level of around 3,500,” stated the affidavit.



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