The Delhi government on Tuesday night withdrew its order asking the city’s five-star Hotel Ashok to set aside 100 rooms for a Covid healthcare facility for judges and judicial officers of the Delhi High Court and their families.
The order was withdrawn hours after the Delhi High Court rapped the government, saying it had not sought high-end Covid-19 care facilities for its staff but instead only asked the government to ensure that hospitalisation for its employees was made available if required.
“No such request [was] made by us that set up a facility at this hotel or that hotels,” the bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said earlier on Tuesday. “All that we wanted was, in case they need admission [to hospitals], there may be some facility available. And that has been converted to such an order.”
The High Court’s criticism came as it took note of media reports that highlighted the discriminatory nature of the Delhi government order. The Capital has been facing an acute shortage of medical supplies, oxygen and hospital beds. Residents of Delhi and other states have been desperately seeking assistance for beds, ambulances and medicines on social media as demand exceeds supply in most places across the country.
Delhi on Tuesday reported 24,149 new coronavirus infections, pushing the overall infection tally in the national Capital to 10,72,065 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The toll went up by 381 to 15,009.