Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and Prateek Jalan, J., directed GNCTD and Centre that, the mobile application developed by Delhi Government — “Delhi Corona” needs to be updated without too much a time lag, so that the information being received by the public is current.

Amicus Curiae, Om Prakash pointed out that the Mobile Application namely “Delhi Corona Mobile Application” developed by Delhi Government is not being regularly updated.

Further it was submitted there had been a mismatch of the facts and data released by the Government/private hospitals in Delhi especially with regard to the availability of the beds and ventilators.

Helpline numbers as provided by Govt. of NCT of Delhi, are not properly working.

Further he added to the submissions that, nodal officers appointed by the Delhi Government should be the ones vested with the responsibility to monitor the allotment of the beds in the Government as well as private hospitals, so that these officers can keep a check on the hospitals which are denying admission to the corona patients even though the beds are available with them.

Amicus Curiae submitted that real time updation of data should be done by the hospitals or data should atleast be updated every 8 hour and further no denial in testing and asymptomatic patients should also be tested for COVID-19 immediately.

Standing Counsel for GNCTD pointed out various steps initiated by GNCTD like:

  • Centralized toll-free helpline number 1031 has been developed by merging all the helplines. Government of NCT of Delhi is in the process of further augmenting the toll-free helpline No. 1031 by adding 50 more hunting lines enabling callers to be connected swiftly to an operator.
  • Standard Operating Procedure has also been evolved for receiving calls and effectively responding to the callers.
  • Special helpline number dedicated only to the Corona positive patients/cases has recently been initiated. There are district-wise ground teams assigned for effective surveillance of Corona.
  • Much of the district-wise distribution data that Delhi receives from ICMR is incorrect, resulting in inordinate delay in the geo-station mapping carried out by authorities/agencies. Thus, there is usually a delay caused in contacting the patient who has tested positive after he has received the lab-report and in the meantime patients tend to panic.
  • Out of 209 ambulances of the Centralized Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) available overall, 136 are exclusively dedicated for COVID patients. 125 additional cabs have been hired by Government of NCT of Delhi from private operators for non-serious patients.
  • Data on Mobile Application namely “Delhi Corona” is not getting uploaded but the ID and passwords have been given to the hospitals concerned and these hospitals are directly uploading the data regarding availability of the beds, ventilators, etc.
  • Four Grievance Officers have been appointed for redressal of complaints regarding availability of the ambulance, hospital, beds and ventilators, etc.

Decision of the Bench

Bench on perusal of the submissions, stated that there is a need for real time updation of the data by all hospitals.

Thus, Court directs GNCTD as well as Centre that they shall take all necessary steps for ensuring real time updation of the data, without too much a time lag, so that the information being received by the public is current.

If any Committee is appointed by GNCTD, the said Committee will also take note of this fact that there shall be real time updation of the data on the above mentioned mobile application.

Court directs Centre as well as GNCTD that testing shall be carried out by the Central as well as State Government run hospitals, subject to availability of testing kits with priority be given to persons approaching for test on the recommendation of a doctor.

Matter to be listed on 25-06-2020. [Court on its own motion v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2020 SCC OnLine Del 634 , decided on 08-06-2020]

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