New Delhi: 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met this morning to review the national capital’s response to coronavirus, two days after the Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi government over the “horrendous, horrific and pathetic” situation in the city. The meeting comes amid spike in the COVID-19 infections in the national capital, which has the third highest number of virus cases in India after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

This is the second meeting between Amit Shah and Arvind Kejriwal in less than a week over the pandemic. Today’s meeting, which began at 11 am, was also attended by Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) and members of the SDMA (State Disaster Management Authority).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met Amit Shah, Dr Harsh Vardhan and other ministers over the rise in COVID-19 infections in the country, the fourth worst-hit by the pandemic. They discussed the situation in the states and Union Territories, including Delhi, where coronavirus cases have been rising.

 The Supreme Court on Friday blasted the Delhi government over the handling of the outbreak as it sought a response on the fall in coronavirus testing in the city. Slamming the AAP government for not following the Union Health Ministry’s guidelines, the top court said: “The situation in Delhi is horrendous, horrific and pathetic. (There is a) very sorry state of affairs in its hospitals that aren’t giving due care and concern to the bodies.” It also sent notices to centre, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

“COVID-19 patients are treated worse than animals,” the court said. The national capital has logged around 38,958 cases so far and around 1,214 deaths linked to the illness, straining the health infrastructure, even as the Chief Minister has repeatedly said that the city is ready to tackle the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted that Union Home Minister “assured of all the cooperation” as they met hours after the Delhi Chief Minister said that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s orders overruling his government’s decisions on coronavirus would be strictly followed, without question.