Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday cracked down on some private hospitals in the capital black-marketing their beds and threatening not to admit the corona patients if pressurised. He warned them of stern action of declaring them as the 100% corona hospital if they refuse to reserve 20% of beds for them.
He said at a press video-conference that most of the private hospitals are cooperating but there is a mafia of four, five who do not admit the corona patients despite available beds. He said an APP launched by Delhi government on Tuesday gives update of the available beds to the public and the data is fed by the hospitals themselves and as such they should honour their own data when a patient approaches for admission.
To nail down those defying the government directives, Kejriwal announced that a government official was being posted at the reception of each private hospitals to ensure the corona patients are not turned away. The government also called the owners of each hospital to understand if they had genuine difficulties.
In another order, he said no hospital can turn away a suspected COVID-19 patient by asking him/her to get tested for the disease. Binding the hospitals to test such patients themselves, the order says nobody will be refused, but such patients will be hospitalised as a corona patient and treated, starting with supply of oxygen and moved to the non-COVID bed if found not infected with the dreaded virus.
There were 2800 corona patients, mostly in the government hospitals, on Tuesday when the APP was launched to check the bed availability while their number has gone up now to 3900, most new patients admitted to the private hospitals.
Kejriwal also announced cancellation of the licences of six erring labs for irregularities in the test while 36 labs are now testing for the virus, 17 of them in the Delhi government hospitals and others private. Refuting Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's charge two days ago that Delhi is not doing enough testing, Kejriwal asked him not to do politics as Delhi is conducting the highest number of tests compared to any other test. Dr Vardhan is also from Delhi and so the politics of attempt to put the AAP government in poor light.
"Our prime priority today is to save the lives, particularly from the respiratory illness caused by the virus," the chief minister said while urging the people to remove the fear from their mind about the coronavirus as it is like any other disease that can be treated and cured. He also urged the asymptomatic persons not to crowd in the testing labs lest they block testing of the serious cases.