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Delhi HC slams Kejriwal govt for mismanaging COVID crisis, asks why they did not ‘wake up’ when cases were rising

"What kind of monitoring and marshalling are you doing? Look at the situation seriously with a magnifying glass. You have crossed cities like New York and Sao Paolo," the court said.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday slammed Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government over the deteriorating coronavirus situation in the national capital.

A Delhi High Court bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad severely criticised the Kejriwal-led government for the rising number of cases in Delhi and asked whether it could explain to people who have lost their relatives to the pandemic in the last 18 days as to why the administration did not take steps when cases were increasing in the city.

The High Court also asked the Delhi government why it waited till the court intervened to take steps such as reducing the number of people attending weddings to 50 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“You (Delhi government) saw from November 1 which way the wind was blowing. But you turn turtle now because we asked you some questions. The bell should have rung loud and clear when the numbers were spiralling. Why did you not wake up when you saw the situation was deteriorating? Why did we have to shake out of your slumber on November 11? What did you do from November 1 till November 11? Why did you wait 18 days (till November 18) to take a decision? Do you know how many lives were lost during this period? Can you explain it to those who lost their near and dear ones,” the bench slammed the Delhi government.

Delhi HC expresses displeasure over monitoring in the national capital

The court also expressed its displeasure over the Delhi government’s apparent failure to enforce social distancing norms, prevention of spitting and mandating masks. 

The bench said that the fines imposed by the Delhi government are not working either as they seem to have failed to set a deterrent. The court said that there was a gap in monitoring and imposition of fines in certain localities as compared to others.

“What kind of monitoring and marshalling are you doing? Look at the situation seriously with a magnifying glass. You have crossed cities like New York and Sao Paolo,” the court said.

The Delhi High Court was hearing a PIL by Rakesh Malhotra, who had sought court’s intervention amidst the rising number of coronavirus cases in the national capital.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 7,486 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the total tally in the national capital to over 5 lakh. Delhi saw 131 new fatalities, the highest single-day death count till date, pushing the death toll to 7,943. 

‘Delhi could be the corona capital of the country’: Delhi HC

This is not the first time that the Delhi HC has criticised AAP government’s inaction in the national capital. A few weeks back, the Delhi High Court had rebuked the Arvind Kejriwal government over the rising cases of COVID-19 in the national capital. It had stated that the city could soon become ‘corona capital of the country’.

Observing that the Delhi government has gone completely “haywire” on the pandemic, the two-judge bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad pulled up the AAP govt for taking the health of the citizens for a ride. It said that it would deal with this issue separately.

The high court said the Delhi government made many claims that they are topping charts in testing but the number of cases has overshot. “The city could soon become Corona capital of the country. Thanks to the number of cases shooting up,” the bench said and added, “We are going to take it very seriously.”

Centre intervenes to control pandemic in Delhi

Following the failure of Delhi government to control the pandemic in the national capital, the Union government has now again stepped in into pull out Delhi and it’s public from the mess created by the Kejriwal government. The central government has now announced a slew of measures including arranging 300 additional ICU beds, doubling the RT-PCR tests daily, and a house-to-house survey to check the rising cases in the national capital.  

Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that some of the hospitals under the municipal corporations will be converted into dedicated COVID hospitals. Also, doctors and paramedical staff have been called in to increase the manpower.

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