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Last Updated : Jun 08, 2020 07:37 AM IST | Source: PTI

Delhi govt-run and private hospitals to be reserved for Delhiites; Malls, religious places to open from today

However, the central government-run hospitals in the city will have no such restriction and will be open for people belonging to other states.


Hospitals run by the Delhi government and private entities will only treat Delhiites during the coronavirus crisis and the city's borders will be reopened following a decision by the AAP dispensation, as the national capital braced for resuming more activities like functioning of malls and religious places from Monday.

However, the central government-run hospitals in the city will have no such restriction and will be open for people belonging to other states.

Addressing an online media briefing on Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the people from other states can also come to the national capital for specific surgeries and get medical treatment at private hospitals here.


"Delhi's health infrastructure is needed to tackle the coronavirus crisis at the moment," Kejriwal said as the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital rose to 28,936 with 1,282 fresh infections, while the death toll climbed to 812.

The announcement comes a day after a five-member panel constituted by the AAP government suggested that the health infrastructure of the city should be used only for treating Delhiites in view of the raging COVID-19 crisis.

Kejriwal cited the panel's report which stated that Delhi will need 15,000 beds by the end of June and if people of other states are allowed to get treatment, all beds here will be occupied within just three days.

However, the opposition BJP and Congress attacked the AAP government over the decision, alleging it was an insensitive move to divert attention from "collapsing" health services and "failures" to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said any person, whether from Delhi or outside, should be treated in hospitals of the city.

Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar said, "Kejriwal should tell if his government will deny treatment to large number of people from other states, specially from UP and Bihar, who live in Delhi but do not have any identity or address proof".

The chief minister had last week sought views of the people in Delhi on the issue of reserving hospitals for the people of the city, while announcing the decision to close the city's borders.

"Over 90 per cent people want Delhi hospitals to treat patients from the national capital during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Hence, it has been decided that government and private hospitals in Delhi will only treat patients from the national capital," Kejriwal said on Sunday.

There are around 40 Delhi government-run hospitals in the national capital including LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.

The government will issue a list of documents through which Delhiites will be able to get treatment at the state-run hospitals, an official said.

A pharmacist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Health Centre has tested positive for coronavirus, the university said on Sunday.

The pharmacist is in home isolation, it added.

Announcing relaxations as part of ''Unlock 1'', Kejriwal said that malls, restaurants and religious places in Delhi would open from Monday after more than two months since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed, but banquets and hotels would remain closed.

Hotels and banquets might be converted into hospitals in the coming days to treat the novel coronavirus patients and, therefore, they would remain shut, he said.

"Malls, restaurants and religious places will be opening from tomorrow in Delhi in accordance with Centre''s guidelines," he said.

The Delhi government will implement instructions -- like maintaining social distancing and wearing masks -- that the Centre and its experts have asked to be taken at these places, Kejriwal said.

According to a late night order, there will be no restriction on inter-state movement of people or goods and no separate permission is necessary for the same.

The Centre had said on May 30 that ''Unlock-1'' would be initiated in the country from June 8 and the coronavirus lockdown would be relaxed to a great extent.

Kejriwal urged the elderly, who are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to confine themselves in a room and not to interact with anyone in their families in order to protect themselves.

Places of worship in Delhi are ready to throw their doors open to the faithful from Monday after remaining closed during the coronavirus lockdown.

Various steps have been taken by the heads and management bodies of prominent shrines in the city that draw huge numbers of devotees, such as setting up sanitisation tunnels, prohibiting prasad distribution and floral offerings, using thermal guns to measure body temperatures, removing carpets and promoting the use of the Aarogya Setu app.

The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, said all the safety measures have been taken at the historical mosque that will reopen on Monday.

He, however, said the government should ''reconsider'' its decision to open religious places as COVID-19 cases are fast increasing in Delhi.

At the Chhatarpur temple, a sanitisation tunnel has been set up and the number of devotees will be regulated to maintain social distancing as it opens on Monday.

As malls and shopping centres in the national capital re-open, they will be focusing on hourly disinfection of the common areas, contact-less shopping and physical distancing to prevent the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.

There are around 100 big and small shopping malls in the city, the source of around Rs 500 crore in revenue for the Delhi government, according to Brijesh Goyal, the convenor of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party''s (AAP) trader''s wing.

"Business activity in malls is carried out in a much more organised way as compared to the shops in markets," he said, adding that the shopping malls in Delhi employ about 10,000 people.

With restrictions on timing of operations and shortage of staff, many restaurants have decided not to open dine-in at the moment and stick to delivery-only services despite the Delhi government allowing restarting of the eateries.

Those running resto-bars have also sought more clarity on whether they will be allowed to open.

Vinod Gulati, who runs the ‘Gulati' restaurant at the Pandara Road, said most of its staff have moved back to their home states during the lockdown.

“We have not decided on the date to start out dine-in operations till we have our staff back,” he said adding that the restaurant is currently taking take-away orders.

Two days after an FIR was filed against Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) for allegedly violating COVID-19 regulation norms, sources at the facility on Sunday said there was a "clerical mistake" and the matter is "being sorted out".

The FIR was filed against the medical superintendent of SGRH under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly violating directions issued under the Epidemic Disease COVID-19 Regulation, 2020.

Amid a spurt in coronavirus cases in the national capital, the Delhi government has begun work on strengthening surveillance system at district-level and defined responsibilities for dedicated nodal officers.

Authorities said a detailed mechanism will be universally followed to augment the capabilities of the deliverables of the district surveillance units.

Meanwhile, liquor in Delhi will be cheaper from June 10 as the AAP government decided on Sunday to withdraw the 70-per cent "special corona fee" on its sale in the national capital, an official said.

The government, however, increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) on all categories of liquor from 20 per cent to 25 per cent from the said date, he added.
First Published on Jun 8, 2020 07:24 am