New Delhi: There is a concerted effort to tarnish the image of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, blatantly or covertly, and the frontrunners are the combined media. If one goes by the content on broadcast channel or print medium, the story is the same. Operation Arvind Kejriwal, and rightly so. The media has exposed dereliction of duty by the medical staff at various hospitals in Delhi and the laxity in monitoring the precautions of masking and physical distancing.
Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) medical superintendent Suresh Kumar was cornered by Sushant Sinha on India TV when he could not give plausible answers to the piled up dead bodies in the passages and patients lying on the floor. Since the MS was taken aback, he kept skirting the issue by nonsensical talk of how the doctors and nursing staff function as a team. He had no words when asked why the patients were claiming that no doctors were coming to examine them. “Actually, since all the medical staff and non-medical staff are donning the PPE, the patients cant identify the doctor among them,” he explained. Then of course, he was busy in giving a rosy of his hospital by saying that one should compare LNJP and AIIMS and the truth will come out.
It was actually the Centre’s decision a few days back to give the States’ chief ministers a free hand to administer their respective States. The Centre had already foreseen the alarming situation that India and a few major metros will be facing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also disappeared from his routine appearances on tv news channels to save himself from a grave public reaction.
Now once this was announced, Arvind Kejriwal took the decision to lift the curbs on malls, restaurants and markets with a strict guideline to maintain social distance and wear face masks.
The economic activity that had been halted for almost 70 days threw the low wage earners into starvation and a bleak job security as well, was going to bring further doom to the people with crime rate rising when the curbs are lifted.
To pump in oxygen to the dying trade and the hospitality industry and give a fillip to the left-over low wage earners, Kejriwal took the decision of lifting many curbs which coincided with the community spread of the infection.
The ‘bhakt-dominated’ tv news channels changed their track and got into a rapid fire mode asking the AAP ministers to justify the opening of malls, markets, salons, and the restaurants. The questions aimed at Kejriwal were also similar. A news channel went to the extent of comparing Delhi with Brazil COVID spread. Most of the tv news channels, focusing on Delhi, were of the view that it was the failure of Kejriwal to contain the spread.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also sent notice to Delhi government on the issue of non-availability of requisite beds in the hospitals for the COVID infected patients. The notice was the offshoot on a complaint by Congress leader Ajay Maken that there was an acute shortage of beds in the hospitals.
Sensing the heat, Kejriwal he sidelined the main issue of explaining why he allowed the opening of malls, markets in the city when he knew that COVID was taking the form of ‘community spread’. Digressing from the issue, he accused Delhi LG Anil Baijal of vetoing AAP’S order that only bonafide Delhiites would be permitted for treatment in Delhi. He said that about 50 per cent of patients in the government run hospitals were those coming across the borders. He was addressing a press conference. By emphasizing that LG’s order will be followed religiously, Kejriwal was actually absolving himself for failing to contain the community transmission which had shot the figures of COVID positives in Delhi to an alarming situation.
He also said that he was aware that the figures of COVID positives were on the increase and will continue till at least July end when the numbers would come to 5.5 lakhs. He also said that in the last few days, 1900 beds were provided to the patients.
While hopping from one television channel to another, Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain has been using his lung power in announcing that they are well prepared in terms of medical facilities. But he is also evasive in admitting that ‘community spread’ has now started in Delhi. He says it’s a technical word and the Centre, if it declares it to be ‘community spread’, it will be accepted.
The ‘community spread’ is declared when the source of contagion is not known. The question arises if the contact tracing is not done swiftly or when it becomes too cumbersome, then the spread will fall under ‘community transmission’. Since there is no official answer to such question, one is left to his own understanding.
Now it is very clear that doctors in many hospitals, both private and government, are wary of attending to the COVID positive patients. The entire Delhi is in the grip of fear, more with the treatment of the hospital doctors and staff than the COVID catastrophe. Delhi is about to cross the 33 thousand positive cases with almost 1000 deaths.
From a renowned private hospital in Okhla, a patient who tested COVID positive, called up his family to say that only junior doctors were handling his case and no senior doctor was coming to examine him. Now on June 10 in the evening the family was told by the hospital authorities that he had been shifted to the ICU without giving any reason. The family is on tenterhook.