Orders passed but no implementation: Delhi HC on COVID-19 patients

The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi over a plea seeking the court’s direction to ensure that the government and private hospitals do not deny admission to asymptomatic and symptomatic Covid-19 patients.

“Everything is only on paper and orders are being passed but there is no implementation,” said a division bench of the court presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan while issuing notice to the respondents over the plea which also sought direction for not charging high amount for PPEs from patients.

The plea also prayed the court to direct hospitals to not force frontline workers to wear “used PPE, which were being used by COVID-19 positive patients.”

The plea said, “multiple private hospitals have made COVID-19 test mandatory before admitting elective and even emergency patients, despite respondent (Delhi government) issued a clarification on aforesaid issue, asking hospitals authority not to test asymptomatic patients.”

The petitioner told the court that many hospitals are hesitating in providing critical services such as dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries.

“It has also been noticed that at many places the hospitals/ clinics are insisting for a COVID-19 test before providing services,” the plea said.

The petitioner sought the prayers on the grounds that direction issued by respondent that any private hospital or nursing home in the National Capital Territory that refuses emergent medical care to persons amid COVID-19 pandemic, strict action will be taken against those defaulters, especially in the case of ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) patients. “Registration shall be cancelled for such Private Hospital and/or Nursing Home. However, there is non-compliance of the direction,” the plea said.

The plea also stated that hospitals are forcing/compelling frontline health workers to wear used PPEs. “According to source, a nurse succumbed to COVID-19 in a hospital since she was forced to wear a used PPE which had been used by a PPE patient,” the petition read.