The Delhi High Court today termed the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital as "alarming" while hearing a plea challenging Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's decision to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for coronavirus patients in 33 private hospitals.
"The numbers, we know, are presently in an alarming state," said Justice Navin Chawla while listing the next hearing on December 9 for further consideration of the matter.
According to the government data, Delhi recorded 99 more deaths and 5,246 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally to 5.45 lakh.
The high court was hearing a plea by 'Association of Healthcare Providers', represented through senior advocate Maninder Singh, to quash the Delhi government's September 12 order to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds for COVID-19 patients in 33 private hospitals.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Delhi government, said they were reviewing the situation periodically and it was last done by Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and especially with regard to Delhi by the Union Home Minister.
He said the situation was reviewed on Wednesday night also and it will again be done before the next date of hearing of the case.
The September 12 order of the Delhi government was earlier stayed by the high court on September 22. However, a division of the high court on November 12 vacated the stay order, taking into account the change in circumstances since the time the stay order was passed.
The petitioner association had told the high court that the 33 private hospitals are its members and the Delhi government's order shall be quashed as it was passed in an irrational manner and is ex-facie perverse.
The Additional Solicitor General, however, had contended that the situation of COVID-19 infection in Delhi has become critical recently and the COVID-19 cases are spiralling, adding that it was critical that 80 per cent of ICU / HDU beds be reserved for COVID-19 patients in the 33 private hospitals.