A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed by Arvind Kejriwal-led-Delhi Government against the Medical Superintendent (MS) of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for allegedly violating directives of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on conducting Coronavirus testing, under the Epidemic Diseases Act. The FIR was filed on the recommendation of Deputy Health Secretary, Amit Kumar Pasami, under Section 188 (disobedience) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the complaint, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital had not been using the RT PCP app while collecting Coronavirus samples as recently as June 3. Reportedly, the use of the said app is mandatory under the Epidemic Disease Covid-19 Regulation 2020 Act. The FIR has been filed on the basis of a complaint by the deputy secretary (health) Amit Kumar Pamasi against the MS of the hospital. As per the report, Delhi Police had confirmed that an FIR had been filed in this regard.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched an app, RT PCR, for filling data during sample collection by Coronavirus-testing laboratories. Accordingly, the Delhi Government had directed all labs to mandatorily collect data via the mobile app from May 8 onwards.
Delhi Government orders hospital to stop testing
The Delhi Government has issued show-cause notices to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital as well as five other hospitals for allegedly disobeying ICMR directives on Coronavirus testing. The hospital management was asked to explain as to why they did not use the RT PCR app while collecting samples. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was ordered to stop testing on June 3 by the State Health Department with immediate effect. Moreover, the Government had also directed Sir Ganga Ram Hospital to allocate 80% of its 675 beds for Coronavirus patients.
Doctors, patients face challenges at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
The doctors have dubbed the two orders, a temporary ban on testing and diktat to dedicate 80% hospital beds for Coronavirus patients, as being at odds with each other. Owing to the Delhi Government order, cancer patients are forced to stay without treatment. Reportedly, the hospital would test 150 to 170 Coronavirus samples and conduct 30-40 surgeries per day. All of it had come to a halt since Thursday.
Medical oncologist Dr. Shyam Aggarwal narrated the story of one breast cancer patient whom he had to reluctantly discharge due to the government order. He conceded that the woman was scheduled to be operated on Thursday. However, she could not be operated without performing the required tests. As such, the oncologist had to convince her family about the government diktat and reluctantly discharge the patients, despite knowing that cancer might spread.