This Article is From Jun 07, 2020

Congress Attacks AAP, Says Delhi Has Lowest Coronavirus Recovery Rate

The Delhi government has decided to open restaurants, religious places and shopping malls, as well as its state borders from June 8.

Congress Attacks AAP, Says Delhi Has Lowest Coronavirus Recovery Rate

Ajay Maken alleged that out of the 38 government hospitals in Delhi, 33 were not treating COVID patients

New Delhi:

The Congress today said 25 per cent COVID-19 positivity rate in Delhi indicates the onset of community transmission and this was not the right time to unlock the city.

The Delhi government has decided to open restaurants, religious places and shopping malls, as well as its state borders from June 8.

Senior Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said it was "shameful" that the COVID positivity rate in Delhi was the highest in the country and its recovery rate the lowest. "This is because Delhi hospitals are in bad shape," he said, accusing both the central and Delhi government for the worsening pandemic situation in the national capital.

"It is premature for the Delhi government to open restaurants, malls from June 8 till the health infrastructure is improved," Mr Maken said at a virtual press conference.

Asserting that the Delhi government should have strengthened health infrastructure in the city before removing lockdown restrictions, he said, "The way they are opening up gradually, we are going to definitely see a time when such a large number of people will be tested corona positive cases and we will have nowhere to go - no hospitals and no quarantine centres to go to".

Mr Maken asked the AAP government why government hospitals in Delhi were "refusing" admission to coronavirus patients, claiming that 72 per cent of COVID-dedicated beds in Delhi hospitals were lying vacant.

"What kind of health infrastructure Delhi government has created for coronavirus in the last three months? Unless they are prepared to improve the infrastructure, I don't think they have any right to open markets, malls and other places and even schools, as they are trying to do now," he said.

Mr Maken alleged that of the 38 government hospitals in Delhi, 33 were not treating COVID-19 patients and were refusing them admission.

Mr Maken said he totally disagreed with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who has talked about reopening schools. "I will ask all parents not to send their children to schools unless we have proper medicines, proper vaccination and this is contained. Why to send small children to schools when such a scenario is looming large in Delhi," he said.

Accusing the Delhi government of complicity and the central government of concern on the pandemic situation in Delhi, the Congress leader said Delhi has been reporting the highest number of COVID-19 positive patients per day as one out of every four persons tested is positive. He said eight laboratories doing 4,000 tests a day have been given notice to close for "over-testing".

"When positivity rate in Delhi is 25 per cent, testing should be ramped up. This indicates that community transmission in Delhi has started and when that happens you should increase the testing and not reduce it," he said, citing the example of Wuhan in China where millions were tested even when there were a few symptomatic cases.

On May 29, total 7,649 tests were conducted in Delhi against just 5,180 on June 5, and the number of tests will reduce further, he claimed. "Is this the way to reduce the number of COVID positive patients in Delhi," he asked.

Mr Maken said no private hospital should refuse admission to any patient and the government has all the authority and power to act against erring hospitals, but it should not be used to divert the attention from the government's own "negligence and incompetence".

He said Delhi Government has 38 health institutions in Delhi, of which 33 are refusing to treat COVID-19 patients.

"Delhi Government App shows as on June 7, 72% beds of COVID-dedicated Delhi government hospitals (3,156 out of 4,400) are vacant. In total private hospitals, 40% are vacant and in Ganga Ram Hospital, against whom the FIR has been lodged, 12% beds are vacant. Why only 28% Delhi government hospital beds are occupied, and FIR lodged against Ganga Ram Hospital with 88% occupancy," he asked.

The former union minister alleged that the central government is also equally responsible as its institutions have around 13,200 hospital beds in Delhi and Municipal Corporations have 3,500 such beds. "Why are only 1,502 out of these 16,700 beds reserved for COVID patients?," he asked.

Alleging that Delhi was violating WHO and ICMR norms by not testing the dead, he said, "only three states - Telangana, West Bengal and Delhi do not test the symptomatic dead. This is a must for tracing and testing. Just to keep the figures low, this ploy of Delhi government is causing a surge in Delhi".

The Congress leader said even though the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 13, the Delhi government formed a committee to suggest on health infrastructure on June 2.

In its report, the Mahesh Verma Committee has estimated a requirement of 42,000 beds and 20 per cent of them with ventilators by mid-July.

"It means now with 8,637 beds, we require 1,700 ventilators, and by mid-July we would require 10,500 ventilators. It is surprising that at this juncture in Delhi, in all hospitals of Delhi and central government, and private hospitals, only 472 ventilators are dedicated for COVID-19," he alleged.