PRESS RELEASE Dated: 11th June, 2020
Statement Issued by Dr. Abhishek M. Singhvi, MP & National Spokesperson, AICC, Shri Anil Chaudhary, President, DPCC and Shri Aman Panwar, National Media Panelist, AICC
“देखो भाजपा और आप ने दिल्ली का कैसा हाल कर दिया? दोनों ने मिलकर राजधानी का बंटाधार कर दिया.”
“Common man suffers highest degree of health atrocities for the political blame game, bickering and misgovernance – non-governance of the duo AAP-BJP”
“मोदी सरकार का नया ऐलान, स्वास्थ्य नही चुनाव है उनकी पहचान।“
“The toll rise in COVID-19 deaths due to untimely medical care despite confirming of available beds by GNCTD has shown the callous attitude of the functioning government.”
- 1.It is a supreme irony that India’s premiere city, its capital Delhi, has such dismal and abysmal health facilities and infrastructure for the Covid scourge. It is tragic that the blame game, the internal bickering, the ego clashes, the misgovernance and non governance by the AAP BJP ruling duo has brought Delhi to such a sad and sorry pass. This duo fiddles—through cross allegations, passing the buck and scoring debating points over each other—-while the people and city of Delhi burn. They play 24×7 politics with the lives and well being of Delhi’s common man and compound the felony by hiding facts, figures and reality through multiple veils of obfuscation and non transparency.
- 2.What follows is not merely the Congress party’s attempt to pierce through this jugglery and distortion of truth but a cry for accountability by Delhi’s am aadmi—- the real one, not the one symbolically adopted as nomenclature for crass political gain.
- 3.It is heartening that the NHRC, the apex statutory body tasked with protection and promotion of human rights in their widest and most comprehensive facets, has acted promptly, strongly and categorically on the complaint of former DPCC President and former Union Minister, Mr Ajay Maken. While issuing notice to the Chief Secretary, GNCTD and Secretary, Health, Government of India vide order dated 10/6/20, NHRC sought a detailed report, in a time bound manner on the issues raised noting that “this is a serious issue of violation of human rights. The Commission, therefore takes cognizance of the complaint and directs issuance of notices” while further recording “a large number of people have died and the National capital is one of the worst affected cities so far…..The complainant has not come up with mere allegations, rather he has made apparent sincere efforts to provide data in support of his representation which if true, raise serious issue of inappropriate approach of the government agencies towards the plight of the general public……”
- 4. Instead of setting an example, nationally and internationally, in the capital of the world’s largest democracy, the BJP AAp ruling dyarchy has attempted to project an exemplar of how not to manage a crisis. Despite having the largest number of hospitals and the most advanced healthcare facilities in India, these two mismanaging musketeers have cost Delhi dear, both in precious lives and the exponential and unceasing rise of the virus. Thousands of people are running from pillar to post in search of beds and fighting tooth and nail to even get a COVID test. Dead bodies are piled up with unprecedented lengthy waiting lists even to give peace to the dead at cremation sites. Given below are merely some of the more focused listings of complete abdication by those entrusted with Delhi’s future although diverse news and social media platforms are flooded with many more tragic and devastating stories.
5.The intervention of the NHRC was based on the following issues, also copiously elaborated in the Mr Maken’s complaint:
- Hospital Beds:
- As per the official figures of the Government, Delhi has a robust hospital infrastructure of 57,194 beds combined in Central Government Hospitals, Delhi Government Hospitals and Private Hospitals. However, as per the data available on the Delhi Government Corona App as on 09th June 2020, out of the total capacity, only 12% beds in Delhi Government Hospitals, 8% beds in Central Government Hospitals and 7% beds in Private Hospital were occupied and being used to treat COVID patients.
- Hence, seemingly comic were it not tragic, while on one hand a large number of Corona affected people are struggling to find a bed in hospitals, the GNCTD, despite confirming availability of beds, is not providing the same to those in need! This non-availability of beds has resulted into various deaths across the capital as people could not get timely medical care.
- Delhi Government has 38 Health Institutions (Hospitals) in Delhi. Out of these, 33 Hospitals are not accepting COVID patients.
Our Demand: That the NHRC shall direct the Government that those who are suffering from Coronavirus and in need of beds, must be given admission without any further hardship. Further, at least 70% of Bed Capacity should be prepared and kept reserved for COVID patients. Also the GNCTD shall designate at least 70% of its hospitals as COVID Hospitals. Indeed, the LG and central government should also move in the same direction, though the percentages may be slightly changed, qua institutions and facilities in their jurisdiction and control.
- Restriction on Testing:
As per the Health Bulletin dated 08h June, 2020 issued by the GNCTD, the total number of daily tests conducted in Delhi was 3700. This, is less than half of the tests compared to the official data issued for 29th May when 7649 tests were supposedly conducted in Delhi. It is astonishing that instead of progression, the powers that be are practising regression! Restricting COVID testing can lead to serious problems in Delhi as the positivity test ratio in Delhi as on 08th Jun, 2020 was 27 positive cases per hundred tests. Further, even the recovery rate of Delhi is one of the lowest in India. However, despite such high ratios, the AAP Government on 4th June, 2020, gave notice for ‘over-testing’ to the 8 labs and thereafter made them dysfunctional. These 8 labs were testing about 4000 patients per day. Where compliments and rewards may be in order, threats and punishment are being meted out amidst this perverse and warped logic of the ruling dispensation!
Our Demand: That the NHRC direct GNCTD to carry out testing at a war footing level.
- Delay in Cremations:
Across Delhi, there has been massive delay in conducting the last rites of those deceased during the pandemic period. Cremations are taking upto 5-6 days after death and relatives of the deceased have been found struggling to find slots. Even the Delhi High Court has taken cognizance of this issue.
Our Demand: We requested that the NHRC to direct the GNCTD and the MCD to augment CNG crematorium facilities across the National Capital.
- Violation of ICMR and WHO norms by not testing the Dead:
The AAP Government has taken a unique in-principle decision to not test the symptomatic dead. This practice can be extremely dangerous and may further strengthen the outspread of the deadly Coronavirus as ignoring symptomatic dead also means ignoring and wishing away those who came in contact with such persons. This completely defeats the tracking of the virus in Delhi and is thereby causing a surge in Delhi. Ostriches in the sand are never successful except very transiently.
Our Demand: Appropriate directions be issued to conduct testing of the symptomatic dead.
- Recommendations of Dr. Mahesh Verma Committee:
COVID was declared pandemic on 13th March, but the AAP Government formed a committee to give suggestions on Health infrastructure only on 2nd June. This Committee submitted its report 06th June, 2020. The Committee has estimated a requirement of 42,000 beds by mid-July. It also says that 20% of the beds should be ventilator equipped. With 8637 beds available in Delhi, we require 1700 ventilators, and by mid-July, we would require 10000 ventilators! By contrast, the combined number of ventilators in all Delhi Government, Central Government and Private Hospitals in Delhi is only 472 ventilators supposedly dedicated for COVID patients. It appears that the government relies on Alice in Wonderland arithmetic to add up numbers.
Our Demand: We have requested the NHRC to give appropriate directions to augment beds, ventilator capacity and other equipment as per the recommendations of the Committee, within a period of 10 days.
- Containment Zones:
While on 29th April, when there were just 3439 COVID positive patients, Delhi had 102 containment zones. Today Delhi has around 30,000 positive cases, but the containment zones are merely 183. This is because the AAP Government has tweaked and relaxed the definition of Containment Zones. This is another example of progress backwards and in reverse!
Our Demand: We have requested the NHRC to intervene and direct the AAP Government to ensure that areas affected with outspread of COVID-19 shall remain contained with realistic, scientific and efficacious definitions and demarcation of containment zones.
We hope and trust (but sadly do not expect) that the AAP and BJP, rather than indulging in optics, advertisements and diversionary tactics, will take our constructive suggestions into account for the betterment of the lives of the people of Delhi.