Delhi Took No Effective Steps To Check Covid Spread: Centre To Top Court

Delhi government's laxity in enforcing health ministry's Covid guidelines forced the Union government to step in, read the centre's affidavit to the Supreme Court which is likely to examine it today.

Delhi Took No Effective Steps To Check Covid Spread: Centre To Top Court

Coronavirus: Delhi took "no effective preventive steps" to check spread: Centre's to Supreme Court (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi government took "no effective preventive steps" to check the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, forcing the Union government to step in, read the centre's affidavit to the Supreme Court.

The centre's response came days after the country's top court said "worse things will happen in December if states aren't well prepared", and sought status reports from Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam over the spike in coronavirus cases in these states.

The remarks of a three-judge bench, which heard the issue the court took up on its own, came amid a third and severe wave of COVID-19 that has claimed more than 2,300 lives in Delhi in the past month when overall cases rose to 5.5 lakh.

"Despite knowing that festivities and winter might lead to a surge, the Delhi government did not do enough. No timely measures were taken to increase ICU beds or testing capacity. Those in home isolation were not properly traced and private hospitals also disregarded the discharge policy," the centre said.

The Delhi government failed to enforce Union Health Ministry's measures and was "lax in containing the spread", it added.

"Failures by the Delhi government constrained Union Home Minister Amit Shah to review COVID-19 situation on November 15 and ready a new plan," read the affidavit, which will be examined by the Supreme Court today.

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Intervening for a third time to take stock of the coronavirus situation in Delhi, this time amid an acute shortage of ICU beds for Covid patients in hospitals, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had released a set of 12-point measures, including increased testing, aggressive contact tracing and provision to create more beds with ventilators.

The meeting was called days after Delhi recorded its biggest single-day spike of almost 8,600 cases, and the High Court pulled up the Arvind Kejriwal government for relaxing norms on public gatherings and full occupancy of buses.

Delhi's third wave comes amid repeated warnings by experts that Delhi's Covid could rise up to 15,000 a day.

The Home Minister had also intervened in June, during Delhi's first Covid wave amid reports of hospital bed shortage and mishandling of dead bodies.

India has recorded 93 lakh COVID-19 cases so far with 1.3 lakh deaths.