Baijal directed the Delhi government to ensure that treatment is not denied to any patient on grounds of not being a resident.
NEW DELHI: Delhi lieutenant- governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Monday overruled chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s decision that only bonafide residents of the national capital will get treated for novel coronavirus in hospitals run by the AAP government in Delhi.
Everyone will be treated in Delhi, Baijal said, stating in an order that treatment “should not be denied to any patient on grounds of being a non-resident”.
In his capacity as the chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Baijal directed the Delhi government to ensure that treatment is not denied to any patient on grounds of not being a resident.
Reacting to the L-G’s order, Kejriwal tweeted, “L-G’s order has created a huge problem and challenge for the people of Delhi.” The final decision on providing treatment to outsiders in the Delhi-government-run hospitals rests with the L-G as he heads the DDMA, while the CM serves as his deputy on the committee.
The DDMA’s meeting on Monday, in which the decision was taken, was attended by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on behalf of Kejriwal. On Sunday, Kejriwal had announced that hospitals run by his government and private players will treat only Delhi’s registered residents during the pandemic.
While addressing media, he had said that hospitals under the Centre would continue to operate as per the Central government’s directions. His decision had attracted a lot of criticism.
Baijal’s decision to overrule the chief minister is expected to bring relief to patients and their families who live in Delhi but are not its registered voters.
Welcoming his decision, BJP MP Gautam Gambhir said, “Excellent step by L-G to overrule Delhi Govt’s idiotic order of not treating patients from other states! India is ONE and we have to fight this pandemic together!”
Amid the rising COVID-19 cases in Delhi, with over 1,000 fresh ones emerging daily, Mr Sisodia said that a meeting of the DDMA will be held on Tuesday to discuss whether community spread is occurring in Delhi.
“A meeting of State Disaster Management Authority will be held tomorrow (Tuesday) on COVID-19 situation and to discuss whether there is community spread. If participant experts say there is community spread in Delhi, our strategy will change. I’ll participate in meeting,” Sisodia said.