The Arvind Kejriwal government on Sunday issued a list of documents that would make a person eligible to be treated for the coronavirus at all state government and private hospitals in the city. This came hours after Kejriwal announced his decision to reserve beds for residents.
Residents will be identified by voter identity card, bank passbook, ration card, passport, driving licence, income tax return, latest water, telephone or electricity bills, postal department’s posts or Aadhaar cards issued before June 7 bearing a residential address from the city. If the patient is a minor, these documents in name of parents will be considered valid.
This directive will not apply to hospitals run by the central government – the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College. Currently, 13 hospitals are private, while five are run by the Delhi government, and only four are under the Centre.
A late night order signed by Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla said increased interstate movement would put more load on both Covid and non-Covid hospitals as patients from “other parts of the country” approach Delhi facilities. The Delhi government will open the borders of the city from Monday.
“It has been observed that there has been a surge in the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in the last few days in Delhi, resulting in additional demand of hospital beds, consumables and infrastructure,” said the order. “It is hereby ordered that all the hospitals operating under Government of NCT of Delhi and all the private hospitals and nursing homes shall ensure that only bona fide residents of NCT of Delhi are admitted for treatment in these hospitals.”
It added that oncology, transplantation, neurosurgery and acid-attack treatment will continue for all patients irrespective of the place of residence.
The chief minister’s decision to reserve beds was announced as complaints mounted on social media that hospitals in Delhi were turning back people affected by the coronavirus. The Aam Aadmi Party has repeatedly claimed that there was no shortage of beds for coronavirus patients in Delhi. But relatives of several patients have told Scroll.in that they were unable to get beds in hospitals across the national Capital as authorities cited a shortage. They also said that the information on the “Delhi Corona” app – meant to display the availability of beds at both private and government hospitals in the city – does not tally with position on the ground.
Kejriwal said the decision was based on the findings made by a five-member expert panel constituted by the Delhi government, which warned that the Capital will have over one lakh cases of the coronavirus by the end of June and would require 15,000 additional hospital beds by the end of the month. The committee added that if the government opens up hospitals for non-residents, all beds will be occupied within three days.
Delhi has recorded more than 10% of India’s total cases, making it the third worst-affected region in the country after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The total cases in the city crossed the 28,000-mark with 1,282 new cases on Sunday. The toll climbed to 812.