The Delhi High Court Thursday said it has no doubt the AAP government, which is looking into the recommendations of a committee on COVID-19, will act in a proactive manner to deal with the pandemic and the post-virus complications to save lives in the national capital. A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli made the observation after perusing a status report filed by the Delhi government stating that it was "actively considering" an expert committee's recommendations which included providing telemedicine facilities for those suffering from post-COVID health issues.
The committee had also recommended that the post-COVID-19 follow up clinics already functioning in major hospitals in Delhi from mid-October 2020 may also be set up in other COVID designated hospitals. Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam told the bench that the recommendations were being actively considered and suitable decisions would be taken at the earliest.
The status report also stated that it was focusing on testing aggressively and due to its testing and tracing strategy, it has been able to maintain the positivity rate of the infection at 1 per cent or less. It also told the court that the testing and tracing momentum would be continued in the national capital.
After perusing the status report, the bench said, "We have no doubt that the Delhi government will act in a proactive manner to ensure that all the contingencies which arise on account of COVID and post-COVID complications would be dealt with to save the precious lives of the citizens of Delhi." The court further observed that the daily number of fresh COVID-19 cases being reported was substantially lower now than at the peak of the infection. It also observed that the vaccination programme was due to be rolled from next week and according to press reports it appeared that large scale arrangements were being made to ensure full roll out of the vaccination process.
"In view of present circumstances, we are of the view that the petition has served its purpose and therefore, we need not keep it pending any further," the bench said. It added however that if any issue arises in future, the parties would be free to bring it to the court's attention by way of an application.
With the observation, the bench disposed of the petition, by lawyer Rakesh Malhotra, which was moved when the pandemic broke out. The PIL by Malhotra was filed seeking an increase in the COVID-19 testing numbers in the national capital and getting speedy results. The court noted that all parties in the matter have participated in a non-adversarial manner and orders passed have been "received and acted upon by the authorities in the spirit in which they should have been".
"It is thanks to the orders passed by this court and its implementation that lives of a large number of citizens of Delhi have been saved and they have been able to successfully come out of the scourge of the pandemic," the court said. The bench on December 23 last year had directed the Delhi government to frame standard operating procedures (SOPs) to deal with post COVID-19 complications relating to the lungs and other vital organs in those who have recovered from the coronavirus infection.
The direction was issued by a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad after Malhotra told the court that there should be some SOPs for managing post COVID-19 complications in those who have recovered from the infection. He had told the bench that persons who have recovered from the COVID-19 infection continue facing serious health issues and are finding it difficult to go back to normal life Subsequently, the bench had directed that the expert committee already constituted by the Delhi government shall examine the aforesaid aspect and come up with a SOP, which will be given wide publicity.