Augmenting Covid-19 helpline capacity, ambulance fleet, AAP government tells Delhi HC | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: The AAP government Monday claimed in the Delhi high court that it has augmented the capacity of its Covid-19 helpline ‘1031’ and proposes to increase the ambulance fleet to ensure speedy access to treatment for everyone infected by the virus.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan during the hearing of a PIL, initiated by the high court on the basis of a video clip of a man who had to run from pillar to post to get his mother hospitalised after she tested Covid-19 positive.
Taking note of submissions by the Centre and the AAP government, the bench issued several directions, including that testing be done as far as possible for all patients after keeping in mind the priority-categories suggested by doctors, Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal said.
The bench also directed that issue of delay in contacting the patients by the state/district authorities must be addressed in consultation with ICMR, Aggarwal said.
The detailed order is awaited.
During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and Aggarwal, told the court that the capacity of 1031 helpline would be increased by adding more lines so that more calls can be attended without any delay or waiting time.
They also told the bench that the helpline provides information on various issues, including signs/symptoms of Covid-19, home quarantine, lab testing centres, district control room numbers, people coming from abroad to India and e-pass.
They further told the bench that the Delhi government was making all out efforts to increase the number of ambulances by June end.
The Delhi government also said that initially there was issues with availability of ambulances, but due to its intervention ambulances are now being provided to almost all Covid-19 callers both for hospitalisation and for ferrying them to testing centres.
It said it has also launched the ‘Delhi corona’ mobile app through which the public can track availability of beds and ventilators in Delhi hospitals for Covid-19 patients.
It said this information would be updated regularly on the app which would also provide others details like location of all Covid centres, containment zones, government instructions and guidelines and helpline numbers.
On the issue of some hospitals denying admission to patients despite availability of beds, the Delhi government said it has held meetings with management of several hospitals and resolved their concerns.
It also said that an order was issued on June 6 directing all Delhi government hospitals and those run by urban and local bodies, army and private sectors not to turn away patients with moderate or severe Covid symptoms on the pretext of lack of test report.
On the issue of availability of beds and ventilators as also hospitals denying admission to people, the bench directed that the data relating these be updated on real-time basis and action be taken against erring hospitals who do not update their data, Aggarwal said.
The court has directed that the nodal officer attached with each hospital must ensure that there is bed allotment to every patient as per the extant guidelines and SOPs, he said.
With the direction, the court listed the matter for further hearing on June 25.
The Centre, in its affidavit, stated that its Covid helpline ‘1075’ was working fine.
The court on May 27 had directed the Delhi and central governments to place before it arrangements made to deal with such patients.
It had also issued directions for making effective the helplines for reporting coronavirus cases, assessing their adequacy to deal with the increasing call traffic and providing ambulance facility to pick up Covid-19 patients.
The court, which took suo motu cognisance of the clipping, also directed the Delhi government and the Centre to respond to the grievances narrated by the man — Dharmendra Bhardwaj — who has alleged in the video that “tall claims” of both governments regarding arrangements for Covid-19 patients “are far from true on the ground”.
He said his mother was admitted in a private hospital on May 19 and she tested positive for Covid-19 on May 21.
Thereafter, the private hospital asked him to arrange for a ventilator and bed in some other hospital, he has claimed and added that he went to several hospitals, but to no avail.
Even the helpline numbers publicised by the Delhi government and Centre were non-responsive, Bhardwaj has alleged in his video which was taken on record by the high court.

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