For the last few days, the Delhi Government has been at the forefront of containing and checking the spread of the novel coronavirus. Of late, Delhi has been gasping with a sharp rise in caseloads and casualties. The efforts lack adequate testing measures as well as basic information and knowledge related to the coronavirus to the general public. Delhi being a semi-state requires cooperation and coordination between different organs and agencies of the State and the Centre, as any difference of opinion pertaining to any policy decision tremendously impacts and influences the legislation part, process and procedure.
On many of the occasions, there has been almost bickering between the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Chief Minister of Delhi on service and policy subjects of governance and administration, leading to chaos and confrontation. Recently, Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, overturned the curbs on hospital admissions in Delhi by asserting that no patient should be denied treatment on the grounds of being a non-resident of Delhi. Apart from turning the Delhi government’s order on testing only those showing symptoms for COVID-19, Baijal encouraged on the testing of asymptomatic cases too.
This triggered a reaction from the ruling party AAP, which believes that providing treatment to each and every one in times of a pandemic is a mammoth task as hospitals in Delhi have limited number of beds. Based on the feedback and suggestions of Delhiites, the party had taken the decision of reserving beds for the people of Delhi.
However, Kejriwal has been swift, both individually and politically, in avoiding any kind of rift with the Centre, considering the sensitivity of the situation. He has been up for any measure initiated by the Centre on the coronavirus front.
Due to his efforts, the Centre in principle agreed to provide Delhi with 500 COVID-care railway coaches, as announced by Home Minister Amit Shah. Delhi was also provided with adequate medical resources and equipment after Shah paid a surprise visit to GB Pant Hospital on 15th June in his individual capacity. There were reports of private hospitals charging exorbitantly for hospital admissions despite repeated warnings from Chief Minister Kejriwal, thus playing with the lives of serious corona-infected patients.
The situation was brought under control, keeping every means and measure in mind. The Delhi government announced a Plasma Bank in ILBS Hospital, Vasant Kunj, for critical cases, urging corona-recovered patients to come forward. This proved to be a success as many people, after having gone through the registration, came forward to donate their plasma by encouraging others as well — such was the result of the charisma and appeal of the Chief Minister.
Secondly, per patient testing has also increased as Delhi has said to have reported a decline in the number of active cases, along with the doubling rate of 30.1 days as people are realising the importance of practising safe hygiene and sanitation practices. Facilities of newly-built quarantine and isolation centres are being provided to individuals developing symptoms of COVID-19, emphasising on their care and counselling, apart from mobilisation and distribution of resources to frontline medical workers.
The Kejriwal government is ensuring all efforts to plug the loopholes with utmost honesty and humility in the best of their capacities, irrespective of who holds what. At this time, primarily for the aam aadmi, affordable health and well-being matters the most and Kejriwal has realised this. All his potentiality to do what it takes for the aspirations, ambitions and objectives of an aam aadmi is reflected in the aim, articulation and idea of his politics.