An Aam Aadmi Party MLA has demanded President’s Rule in Delhi as the national Capital scrambles to tackle the raging second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Shoaib Iqbal appealed to the Delhi High Court through a video message.
“I am pained by Delhi’s condition,” Iqbal said in his video message. “I am very worried, I can’t sleep. People are not getting oxygen and medicines. My friend is suffering. He is in hospital but is not getting oxygen or a ventilator. I have his prescription for remdesivir but where do I get it from? His children are running around.”
Iqbal, who was with the Congress before he switched to AAP ahead of the 2020 Assembly elections, said he was ashamed of being an MLA as neither him nor the government can offer any help.
“I am a six-time MLA, the senior most,” Iqbal added. “But despite this, no one is responding, you can’t contact any nodal officer. In this situation I would like to request the Delhi High Court to impose President’s rule in Delhi otherwise there will be dead bodies on the road.”
The ruling AAP has not responded to Iqbal’s comments so far.
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Harish Khurana agreed with the AAP legislator. “Iqbal is not just an AAP MLA, he is also the one with the most experience in the Delhi Assembly,” Khurana told The Indian Express. “If he is saying that the situation has gone out of control and people are suffering, and President’s rule should be imposed in the states, he is right. We also believe that Delhi should now be under the Centre’s control and there should be President’s rule as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not being able to manage the situation.”
Delhi Congress Vice-President Abhishek Dutt said that the Army should take over the health infrastructure in the national Capital. He also alleged that the Kejriwal government had slowed down RT-PCR testing in the state and the figures of Covid deaths were not being reported correctly.
India on Friday set yet another grim record with 3,86,452 coronavirus cases, pushing the overall count of infections to 1,87,62,976 since the pandemic first broke out in India in January 2020. This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far, and the ninth consecutive day when India has recorded more than 3 lakh cases. With 3,498 deaths, the toll climbed to 2,08,330. There are 31,70,228 active cases and the recovery tally stood at 1,53,84,418.
Delhi on Thursday reported its highest toll in a single day with 395 deaths. The national Capital has reported high tolls for most of the past few weeks, putting more pressure on the already stressed health infrastructure.
As lakhs of new coronavirus cases emerge every day, India is reeling under an acute shortage of oxygen, beds and timely medical care across several states. Social media is awash with desperate calls for ambulances, ICU beds and medicines. Even hospitals are taking to Twitter or going to court to plead with the government to replenish their oxygen supplies and warning that they will need to stop admissions of new patients.
The Delhi High Court is hearing several matters related to the handling of the pandemic in the national Capital, and different benches have held marathon hearings. The court has pulled up both the AAP government as well as the Centre as the national Capital faces acute oxygen shortage and lack of hospital beds.
A bench of the court on Wednesday said that it appeared as if the central government wanted patients to die as it noted the new protocol on using remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients. The same day, the High Court had urged residents not to hoard oxygen cylinders and medicines as the second wave of the coronavirus batters the Indian healthcare system.
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the police not to seize anti-viral drug remdesivir and oxygen cylinders from individuals who have got it for medical use amid the coronavirus crisis. A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli asked the police to release the drug and oxygen cylinders as soon as it is seized from hoarders and black marketeers.
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