Employees body wants doctors, patients kept in religious institutions in Delhi

Association says accommodating doctors treating COVID-19 patients at five-star hotels will put extra burden on the exchequer

After Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the state government would have to cut its expenses drastically in the view of the state of revenue, a government employees’ association has requested Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Kejriwal to use places of worship to accommodate healthcare staff and quarantine patients.

Umesh Batra, general secretary of Delhi Government Employees Welfare Association, said the government had made arrangements to accommodate doctors treating COVID-19 patients at five-star hotels. This puts an extra burden on the exchequer at a time when the tax revenue has drastically gone down, he said.

He added that the government could save money in such financial crises by paying attention to the association’s demand.

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“Religious institutions in Delhi have good space, where the government can make accommodation arrangements for doctors, nurses, suspected COVID-19 patients,” he said. Committees and administrations of most temples, gurdwaras, churches and mosques will not deny requests for this noble cause, he said.

In his letter to Baijal and Kejriwal, Batra said the move would not only help the government avoid “unnecessary expenses” on five-star hotels and resorts, but also give relief to government servants as community centres and schools in their areas were being used to quarantine people of suspected of the coronavirus infection.

On Friday (April 10), the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 903 with a death toll of 14 in the national capital. As many as 183 fresh infections and two deaths were reported on the day alone.

(With inputs from agencies)