The Centre has told the Supreme Court that the Delhi government failed to take effective steps to contain Covid-19 infection though it was aware "the confluence of winter, festival season and pollution would lead to a surge in cases".
A high-power committee headed by V K Paul, NITI Aayog member, had recommended that Delhi should prepare for a surge of 15,000 cases per day and accordingly prepare Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, but the Delhi government did take no timely measures for it, the Union government said.
“While there were regular advertisements on achievements of Delhi Government, including on dengue prevention and control, no ads on appropriate behaviour were to be seen. The people, at large, were also not apprised about this through regular outreach measures,” the Ministry of Home Affair said in an affidavit.
The Centre further claimed that containment measures, as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, including house to house surveillance, contact tracing, quarantine and clinical management, were also not done properly, leading to the spread of infection.
"Patients who were under home isolation were not properly traced," it said.
The Centre also pointed out 10 states contributed almost 77% of the active case load for the country. These are: Maharashtra (18.9%), Kerala (14.7%), Delhi (8.5%), West Bengal (5.7%), Karnataka (5.6%), Uttar Pradesh (5.4%), Rajasthan (5.5%), Chhattisgarh (5.0%), Haryana (4.7%) and Andhra Pradesh (3.1%).
Among the measures, it said, inter-sectoral coordination, travel advisories and guidelines for Covid-19, laboratory support, hospital infrastructure, community surveillance and surveillance at airports, sea ports and land border crossing were being undertaken.
It also said five vaccines were in clinical trial stage, of which two vaccines were in Phase III trials and three were in phase II trials.