Coronavirus wards in all hospitals will be fitted with CCTV cameras, the Delhi government has said following Union Home Minister Amit Shah's instructions. The minister made a surprise visit on Monday at the national capital's Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospital -- a dedicated facility to treat coronavirus -- days after the Supreme Court's strong criticism regarding the handling of the pandemic by several states, including Delhi.
After the visit, Mr Shah directed the Delhi Chief Secretary to install CCTV cameras in coronavirus wards of all hospitals, to ensure proper monitoring of patients.
The handling of the pandemic at various hospitals of the country came into question after media reports of patients being turned away, social media clips about bodies left in hospital corridors for hours and exorbitant charges levied by private hospitals.
On Friday, the Supreme Court had pulled up Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Bengal, saying 'COVID-19 patients are treated worse than animals. In one case, a body was found in the garbage. Patients are dying and nobody is there to even attend to them".
The situation in Delhi, it said, was "horrendous, horrific and pathetic".
Under PM @NarendraModi ji's decisive leadership, India is resolutely and collectively fighting against the Covid-19 global pandemic.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 15, 2020
PM Modi's government will leave no stone unturned to help our people in need.
Sharing some pictures of my visit to LNJP hospital in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/57U5jejl8T
Mr Shah asked the authorities to set up back-up canteens to maintain food supply in case a kitchen had to be shut down because of infections. He also asked that psycho-social counselling of doctors and nurses engaged in treatment of coronavirus patients be done.
Over the last two days, Mr Shah held a series of meetings to take stock of the National Capital Region's preparedness for the crisis, which is expected to peak in the coming months. Delhi is likely to have 5.5 lakh cases of coronavirus by the end of July and would need 80,000 beds for treatment, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said.
After a meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday, Mr Shah had promised 500 railway coaches that would be converted into coronavirus treatment facilities and add 20,000 beds to Delhi's tally. The first lot of 50 coaches have been arranged, which would be stationed at the Anand Vihar railway station in east Delhi.
On Monday morning, the minister also held a meeting with all political parties of NCR -- which includes Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana --where he said that anyone in Delhi who wants to get tested for coronavirus can do so.
The coronavirus tests per day in Delhi will reach 18,000 in the next few days, the Home Minister said. Most parties, cutting across party lines, had demanded more testing.