Kejriwal in self-quarantine; LG overrules AAP govt's orders on hospitals, testing; DDMA meet on Tuesday

New Delhi, Jun 8 (PTI) Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has overruled the AAP government's controversial order on reserving hospitals except those run by the Centre for Delhiites in the national capital, ahead of chairing a crucial meeting on Tuesday to assess whether the city has entered the community transmission phase.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal went into self-quarantine on Monday after developing sore throat and fever and will undergo a coronavirus test, his deputy Manish Sisodia said, as concerns mounted over the surge in cases which, according to Health Minister Satyendar Jain, could rise to 56,000 in the next two weeks.

With 1,007 fresh cases, the total number of coronavirus cases reached 29,943 in Delhi, a bulletin issued by the Health department said. The death toll also climbed to 874. There are 17,712 active cases in Delhi.

LG Baijal overruled the two orders on reserving Delhi government-run and private hospitals in the national capital for Delhiites and allowing COVID-19 test of only symptomatic patients, saying anyone can get treatment in the city and the asymptomatic too should be examined.

The Aam Aadmi Party reacted sharply to the LG's move, alleging that he had been pressured by the BJP which is doing 'dirty politics' on the issue.

Delhi stands third (29,943) after Maharashtra (85,975 cases), Tamil Nadu (30,152) among the states with highest number of cases.

Health Minister Jain said the current doubling rate of COVID-19 in Delhi is 14 days so the national capital as per that estimation will see over 56,000 cases by the end of next two weeks, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

'The expert committee, which was set up by us earlier, has said that the doubling rate is 14-15 days and currently the city has recorded 28,936 cases in total so by the end of two weeks, it is estimated to rise to 56,000,' the minister told reporters.

A five-member expert panel formed by the Delhi government also said the city will require almost 15,000 beds by the end of June since the number of coronavirus cases is likely to touch the one-lakh mark by the end of this month.

With the rising number of cases, Sisodia said the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will hold a crucial meeting on Tuesday to assess whether COVID-19 has entered the community transmission phase in the national capital.

Sisodia said if community transmission was taking place in Delhi, the AAP government would have to change its strategy accordingly to deal with the situation.

'There will be an important meeting of the state disaster management authority on Tuesday. Experts will also attend it.

'If community transmission is ascertained at the meeting tomorrow, we will have to change our strategy accordingly,' Sisodia said.

The Lieutenant Governor is the Chairman of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.

In his order, Baijal made it clear that the Supreme Court has invariably held in several successive judgements that 'Right to Health' is an integral part of 'Right to Life' under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The LG said all government, private hospitals and nursing homes and clinics in the national capital of Delhi have to extend medical facilities to all COVID-19 patients coming for monitoring and treatment without any discrimination of being resident or non-resident of Delhi.

In another order, the LG overruled the city government's order for coronavirus testing only for symptomatic patients.

Baijal said all nine categories people, including asymptomatic, as prescribed by the ICMR should be examined in the national capital.

Reacting to Baijal's decision, Kejriwal said it has created a major problem and challenge for the residents of the city.

Taking to Twitter, the chief minister said that providing treatment to people coming from all over the country is a big challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kejriwal said the Delhi government will try to make arrangements to provide treatment to all those coming from outside Delhi 'May be God wants us to serve the people of the whole country. We will try to provide treatment to all,' he said.

Sisodia, however, targeted the BJP and said the LG should review his decision. 'The BJP governments in the state are involved in PPE kit and ventilator scams. The Delhi government is meticulously and honestly managing the disaster. The BJP cannot see this which is why it is resorting to dirty politics by pressuring the LG,' Sisodia tweeted in Hindi.

Delhi's health department set aside its two orders on Monday night following the LG's action.

In a separate order by the health department, round-the-clock helpdesks are to be set up at various Delhi government hospitals to ensure smooth and hassle-free admission of patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, malls, restaurants and religious places opened after a gap of more than two months. However, the business was lean in the malls and restaurants while the footfall was less in temples. PTI BUN KND SLB ACB PR RT RT