The Supreme Court on Friday slammed Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government for its handling of COVID-19 patients' dead bodies terming it "very sorry state of affairs". The apex court also criticised Delhi government over drop in coronavirus testing at a time when cases are rising sharply in the national capital.
The court issued a notice to LNJP Hospital in Delhi and said, "There is a problem in Delhi, testing has gone down from 7,000 to 5,000 per day. Why has your testing gone down? Tell us why testing numbers are reducing in Delhi."
"We have also noticed that the Delhi government itself has admitted that the number of tests has gone down in June as compared to the month of May," the court said.
Hearing a plea filed related to mishandling of coronavirus affected dead bodies, the apex court said the situation in Delhi is "horrendous, horrific and pathetic" with respect to the handling of COVID-19 patients and that they are being treated "worse than animals". A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah further stated that government hospitals in Delhi are not properly dealing with bodies of deceased COVID-19 victims, adding that they are not even informing family members about deaths on some occasions.
The court also asked the government why some patients were not getting admission in hospitals despite the government app showing the availability of beds.
"Reports also show that patients are not able to get admitted to the hospital whereas data shows a large number of beds remain vacant. The state is not only duty-bound to provide beds but also adequate infrastructure, manpower and staff to attend to the patients," the SC bench said.
Besides Delhi, the Supreme Court also pulled up Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu over the condition of government hospitals in their respective states. The apex court seeks report from four states regarding the same and will hear the matter again on June 17.
Delhi, the third-most affected from coronavirus crisis, has 34,687 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and of these, 1,085 have died. This also includes 20,871 active cases, 12,731 recoveries. On Thursday, the national capital reported its highest spike in coronavirus cases with 1,877 new cases.