Delhi Govt Hospitals To Treat Only City Residents: CM

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that hospitals in Delhi, except those run by the Centre, will only be available for people from the national capital in the view of rising COVID-19 cases here.

He said that private hospitals in Delhi will also only treat patients from national capital except for those hospitals which provide treatment that is not available anywhere in the country.

The Chief Minister also announced that restaurants, malls and religious places will open from tomorrow along with the opening of Delhi borders. He said that hotels and banquets will remain closed as the government might need to convert them into hospitals in coming time.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said: “In the cabinet meeting today, a decision has taken regarding healthcare facilities. There are 10,000 beds in hospitals of Delhi government and the same number of beds are available in those hospitals run by Centre. We are opening borders from tomorrow. Delhi hospitals will be available for the people of Delhi only, while hospitals run by the Central government will remain open for all.”

“Anyone can get treatment in hospitals run by the Central government. Private hospitals in Delhi will also be reserved for people of Delhi. But there are some hospitals which offer surgeries/treatment like neurosurgery which is not available in other parts of the country. Those hospitals will remain open for everyone. I think this is a fine balance to protect the interest of people of Delhi and people from outside Delhi,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that a majority of people and the five-member committee which was constituted to look into healthcare facilities in the national capital suggested that hospitals of Delhi should be reserved of its people only.

“We are opening Delhi borders from tomorrow. We thought that if we open our borders then many people will come for treatment in hospitals in Delhi. Will hospitals treating COVID-19 patients be able to take a load of those patients as well? At any time, around 60-70 per cent patients in hospitals in the national capital are from outside Delhi. We never said no to any patient,” he said.

“Coronavirus cases in Delhi are increasing. Delhi government is arranging beds. If we open hospitals in Delhi for everyone, then where will people of Delhi go if they are infected with COVID-19? We have asked suggestions from people on this. Around 90 per cent people said that hospitals of Delhi should be reserved of its people only,” he added.

Speaking further, the Chief Minister said: “We constituted a committee of five doctors. They submitted their report in which they said that Delhi would need 15,000 beds by the end of the month of June. That’s why they suggested that hospitals in Delhi should be reserved for its people for some months and should not open them for everyone. They said within three days 9,000 beds for COVID-19 will be filled.”

Kejriwal said that restaurants, malls and religious places will open from June 8 but necessary precautions should be followed there.

“Delhi government will allow the opening of restaurants, malls and religious places from June 8 according to Central government’s directions. Precautionary measures need to be taken in those places. A guideline will be issued by the Delhi government regarding this. Hotels and banquets halls will not be opened as of now. Keeping in view of rising coronavirus cases, the Delhi government might convert hotels and banquet halls into hospitals,” he said.

The Chief Minister appealed to senior citizens to take all precautions as they are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“We have opened our economy and given relaxation in lockdown. But it does not mean that coronavirus is over. People should follow all precautionary measures. I see some people going outside without masks. They are not doing a favour to anyone. I request all senior citizens to think that lockdown is not over for them. Mostly senior citizens are dying due to coronavirus,” he said.

“As a precautionary measure, the elderly people should have minimum interaction with their family members and others, especially children, as senior citizens are most vulnerable to COVID-19. Try and remain in a single room of your house,” he said.


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