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Delhi High Court panel to assess if hotels can be made COVID-19 facilities

Justice Navin Chawla directed the committee to submit its report on or before June 14.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday constituted a committee of doctors, with a request to visit two proposed hotels — Surya Hotel at New Friends Colony and Crown Plaza at Okhla and give a report on the feasibility of these hotels being used as extended COVID hospitals.

Justice Navin Chawla directed the committee to submit its report on or before June 14.

The committee comprises AIIMS director Randeep Guleria and VK Paul, who is a member of NITI Aayog. The panel will visit hotels in the national capital that had moved the court challenging the decision of the government to convert them into hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

Petitioner during arguments flagged various issues which would arise if the hotels are to be used as extended COVID hospitals. It said that the presence of air conditioning, the lack of large lifts which are capable of being used for stretchers, lack of bio-waste disposal, as also the measure to safeguard the hotel workforce that may be required by the hotels for providing services as stipulated in the orders dated 29.05.2020 and 02.06.2020, etc.

The counsel of petitioner hotels told the court that use of these hotels as extended COVID Hospitals would in fact, not be advisable due to various infrastructural constraints.

Earlier, the hotels argued that the government’s order is unilateral and they were not consulted before passing it. Delhi government in an order dated 29th May had asked several hotels to be converted into COVID-19 hospitals.

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