Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal may undergo Covid-19 test

Just a day ago, the CM had announced that hospitals run by the Delhi Government, as well as some private hospitals, will now only treat 'residents' of Delhi

Arvind kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, is said to be suffering from a fever and cough and is likely to undergo Covid-19 test soon.



The news came as a bit of a shocker, just a day after the CM had announced that Delhi hospitals will only be treating Delhi residents for the foreseeable future. This had created a buzz around the city, which is home to many who have come here to study and work from across the country and abroad. Not everyone has official papers that can be used as proof that they are “delhi residents”, especially those belonging to economically weaker sections, including migrant labourers who have stayed back in the city even in the Covid-19 fuelled exodus seen in the last two months.

On Sunday, Arvind Kejriwal had said: “Delhi’s health infrastructure is needed to tackle Corona crisis at the moment” 



Then the news of him showing symptoms broke this afternoon,

“ArvindKejriwal is running a fever and has a sore throat. These do happen to be symptoms of #COVID19 so doctors have advised him to undergo a test tomorrow”: AAP’s @raghav_chadha tweeted



While wishing him a speedy recovery, residents of Delhi, have also wondered how long it would take them to get tested, or get admitted in a Delhi hospital if they had similar symptoms of cough and fever, hiding at a possibility of Covid-19. Just a day ago the CM had announced that hospitals run by the Delhi Government, as well as some private hospitals, will now only treat residents of Delhi. To prove they are residents of Delhi, citizens seeking treatment in Delhi Government hospitals will have to possess identification documents showing their Delhi residency,  such as: Passport, Aadhaar card, voter identity card, driver’s licence, bank passbook, ration card, income-tax return etc. People could also show utility bills issued in their name, family name, such as those for: water, telephone, electricity or cooking gas etc. For minors the parents’ identity documents from the list above could also be used.

However, those rules did not apply to ‘non-residents’ undergoing or seeking life saving medical attention such as transplants, cancer treatment, neurosurgery or emergency cases of traffic accidents or acid attacks. They would get medical care at par with residents.

The order was issued on Sunday, by Delhi health secretary Padmini Singla under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, as a part of the Covid-19 regulations for the capital, stated a report by the Telegraph. The CM, himself had announced the ‘Delhi hospitals for Delhi residents’ plan on Sunday and  that the “10,000 beds under the Delhi government will be kept for residents.” This move has been called ‘unethical’ by many, and as stated by The Telegraph this ‘exclusion’ could, in fact, “worsen the Covid-19 crisis.”

The CM had also announced that all hospitals in Delhi that were run by the Central government “can be used by all. Private hospitals covering special treatments and surgeries will be open for all.” These include the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. However this new classification of ‘outsiders’ from the CM, who himself lived in neighbouring Kaushambi in Ghaziabad (UP), till a few years ago, has come in for critique from many who said this could set off an unwelcome precedence. 

Journalist  Nitin Sethi posted: “Delhi AAP govt’s decision to bar so-called non-Delhi citizens from state govt and private hospitals is abhorrent and shameful at many levels. Imagine every district, city and state doing the same.”



The CM, however, has maintained that this has been done after he considered suggestions from Delhi residents that he had asked for and received many suggesting this. He also said the expert panel set up by the Delhi government too agreed. “The panel said that by the end of June Delhi will need 15,000 beds for Covid-19 patients. They suggested reserving Delhi’s hospitals for the people of Delhi because if we open the hospitals for all, the 9,000 Covid beds which we have set up will be filled in just three days,” said Kerjiwal. He said 90 percent of over seven lakh suggestions from citizens, said that Delhi’s hospitals be available only to residents for now. 

Delhi’s shutting out and definition of non-Delhi people is what is now under the spotlight. Residents need to have national documents of identification such as Aadhaar, Passport etc, or even bills posted to a Delhi address in the name of the resident. Not many get postal letters now, and even long time residents have only rent agreements often, the urban poor do not even have that, but they have worked and lived in Delhi for decades. The Central government run hospitals which are open to all under the new policy, are already overcrowded and private ones are too expensive. This notification has created more confusion and adds to the crisis of rising of Covid-19 cases in Delhi.

Even though the government is yet to even officially acknowledge community transmission, a spike alert for Coronavirus has been reported for Delhi and Mumbai. According to news reports, both the densely populated cities may see a rise in Coronavirus infections between July and September. 

From today, all malls, markets, places of worship have been allowed to open in Delhi. According to the CM, hotels or banquet halls are still not allowed to open and they  may be converted into Covid 19 hospitals if the need arises soon.

According to another report in The Telegraph, “India on Sunday recorded 9,971 new coronavirus infections, but the country’s hardest-hit cities, Mumbai and Delhi, could by themselves see much higher daily new counts during their peaks of the epidemic, researchers have predicted.” It states that researchers at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Bangalore, a unit of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, have also predicted that both cities could witness peaks between July and September. According to that study quoted, “The peak daily cases could range from around 8,000 to 24,000 in Mumbai and 12,000 to 35,000 in Delhi, depending on the epidemic’s growth, proportions of asymptomatic patients and periods of infectivity, among other factors.” It also predicted cumulative deaths ranging from 9,000 to 28,000 in Delhi to 6,000 and 19,000 in Mumbai.



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