The Delhi High Court on Thursday lifted the interim stay order on the Delhi Government’s decision to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds in 33 private hospitals for Covid-19 patients in the national capital.
While passing the said order, a division bench of the high court presided by Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said, “In view of the present situation in Delhi, the spiralling cases and the ground reality which is different from how it was when the stay order was passed, the stay order on the reservation is vacated.”
The bench, however, added that no person in a health emergency can be allowed to run from pillar to post when there is a bed available.
It also directed that nodal officers are in a position to relax the norm of 80 per cent for these hospitals without strictly adhering to the Delhi government decision.
The court has also asked the Delhi government to file an additional affidavit providing material information before the single judge bench.
The said observations and directions were passed while the bench was hearing a petition filed by the Delhi govt challenging the interim order passed by the single judge who had stayed the operation of the government’s order to reserve 80 per cent beds for Covid-19 patients in 33 private hospitals.
In the first half of the hearing, the court had asked the Delhi government to tell the reason behind choosing these 33 hospitals.
When the matter resumed, ASG Sanjay Jain answering the query of the court stated that there were three reasons for these selection – Large chunk of ICU Beds, the ones which are preferred by people the most and space available in the hospital in order to increase capacity if so required.
The court also asked Jain as to why Hindu Rao Hospital was not chosen. “Because of doctor strike, Hindu Rao was not chosen and 30 patients were shifted out,” Jain replied.
Jain also informed the bench that Special Secretary Health has been designated to head a team of nodal officers (1 for each hospital) and then one for each district who will report to him regarding the segregation of beds.
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday declined to lift the Delhi High Court’s stay on the order to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds in private hospitals for such patients.
In September this year, the Delhi High Court had stayed the government’s order directing private hospitals in the national capital to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients only.
A single-judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Navin Chawla passed the order while issuing notice on a petition by ‘Association Of Healthcare Providers’.
The matter will now be heard on November 26 by the single bench.