NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday slammed the Delhi government on news reports showing deplorable condition of medical wards in Delhi, where dead bodies were not only in wards, but were also found in lobby and waiting areas.
The apex court termed the situation in Delhi “horrendous, horrific and pathetic”. It slammed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government for its handling of dead bodies, terming it “very sorry state of affairs”.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah took suo moto cognizance of the ill-treatment being meted out to Covid patients in hospitals and also the undignified way in which dead bodies of Covid patients were being handled.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said there was a case in Delhi where dead bodies were found alongside patients, who were undergoing treatment.
Justice Shah questioned Mehta, “So what have you done?” The bench termed the situation in Delhi “horrendous, horrific and pathetic”, and reproached the government for patients being placed alongside stacks of dead bodies in the hospitals. The bench noted that patients’ families aren’t even informed about deaths and in some cases, families haven’t been able to attend the last rites, too.
The bench noted that there is a problem with the way the pandemic was being fought in the national capital.
“The number of tests conducted are low in Delhi compared to Chennai and Mumbai…Why are tests so less in Delhi?” the bench said. “Nobody should be denied testing on technical reasons…simplify procedure so more and more can test for Covid,” said the bench. The top court pointed out that it is the duty of the state to conduct testing so that more people know about their health status.
The top court also noted that the situation is grim even in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.