Courts Update Allahabad HC directs Centre to come up with plan...

Allahabad HC directs Centre to come up with plan on vaccination of differently-abled, who can’t register on Cowin app

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Allahabad, May 12 (ILNS) The Allahabad High Court has asked the Central Government to come up with a plan for inoculation of differently-abled persons, who cannot visit the vaccination centres, against the COVID-19 virus.

The Division Bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar yesterday passed this order, while hearing a PIL filed by In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres and For
Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive.

The Court asked the Centre and the state to devise a plan for vaccination of such persons under the age group of 18-45 years, who cannot possibly register themselves for vaccination on the Cowin App, made by the Indian government for vaccination registration of the citizens.

The Bench sought details regarding food supplied to the hospitals of Level-1, Level-2 and Level-3 category. It was informed that Rs 100 is allocated per patient in Level-1 category hospital.

Taking exception to such meagre allocation, the Division Bench observed that proper nutritious food must be given to all COVID-19 patients, without any exception.

“It is a well-known fact that COVID patients need highly nutritious food that should include fruits and milk in their daily diet and we fail to understand as to how with Rs 100 per capita budget, the Government is managing three times meal in Level-1 category hospital with 2100 required calories. No details have been given regarding Level-2 and Level-3 hospitals. We want food details with calories count of each item in respect of the hospitals of all the categories,” the Court said.

The Court stated that in these days of COVID-19 surge, if a person is admitted to the hospital with Influenza-like infection (ILI) and where only antigen testing has taken place or in the event RTPCR is delayed and in the meanwhile patient dies and if such deceased person has no history of having cardiac or kidney problem then, presumption should be raised that such death was caused by Covid infection only for the limited purpose of maintaining records and also following Covid protocol for the disposal of the body.

The Court further stated that the Government officials and the hospitals cannot be permitted to shirk away from their responsibility in ensuring that body of such deceased persons is disposed of strictly as per the Covid Protocol. Nobody is admitted to a hospital unless he has landed himself in a condition where the SPO2 level has gone down below 94 and, therefore, to take such deaths as non-COVID deaths would be a blunder.

The Additional Solicitor General submitted that he would come up with a fresh affidavit in two days, in compliance with “our order dated April 27, 2021 and on the above issue”.

He also assured that in the matter of district Meerut, he would gather such other necessary information also. Principal of Medical College, Meerut is also directed to come with exact reports of those 20 deaths that had taken place from the time of their admission and also Covid testing and SpO2 status at the time of admission, as noted in the record of the hospital.

The Court directed that in every district of the State three member Pandemic Public Grievance Committee shall be formed and that would include Chief Judicial Magistrate or a judicial officer of similar rank to be nominated by the District Judge, Professor of a Medical College to be nominated by the Principal of Medical College and if there is no medical college then a level-3/4 doctor of district hospital to be nominated by Chief Medical Superintendent of that district hospital and an administrative officer of the rank of Additional District Magistrate to be nominated by the District Magistrate. This three member Pandemic Public Grievance Committee shall come into existence within 48 hours of passing of this order and necessary directives to this effect shall be issued by the Chief Secretary (Home), UP to all the District Magistrates.

Similarly in rural areas, complaint can be made directly to the SDM of concerned Tehsil who shall transmit the same to Pandemic Public Grievance Committee. The Pandemic Public Grievance Committee shall also take the trouble of looking into all the viral news itself.

“We are of the considered view that may be the directives have been issued for providing life saving gadgets to various community health centres of different tehsils of the districts of the State but the issue is that how many of them have really been installed in the community health centres. Such details are required to be known because in rural areas by and large the facilities are not available and the villagers are dying of Covid for want of proper care. Similar is the situation in smaller cities,” the Court said.

It accordingly directed that in respect of the districts of Bahraich, Barabanki, Bijnor, Jaunpur and Shravasti, following details of City and Rural areas shall be submitted:

(1) Number of city population;

(2) Number of level-1 and level-3 hospitals with details of beds;

(3) Number of doctors, anesthetists in level-2 level-3 hospital;

(4) Number of Medical and paramedical staffs;

(5) Number of BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks;

(6) Number of rural population tehsil-wise;

(7) Number of community health centres;

(9) Availability of beds in community health centres;

(10) Number of life saving gadgets like High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks, BiPAP Machines;

(11) Number of oxygen concentrators with capacity details in community health centres;

(12) Number of medical and para-medical staffs;

(13) Number of testing done in these places (urban and rural), from March 31 till date and laboratory from where the testing is being performed.

“We direct the Central Government to place before us as to how it proposes to inoculate those physically challenged persons who cannot be brought to the vaccination centres and then those who cannot make online registration…

We may further observe that a large number of our population still resides in villages and there are people who are only labours between the age group of 18 and 45 and cannot themselves register online for vaccination. The Central Government and State Government are directed to place before this Court the programme by which they would vaccinate those illiterate labours and other villagers between the age group of 18 and 45 years if they are not able to register online for vaccination,” the order said.

During the hearing, the State Government had expressed its inability to adopt special guidelines for vaccination of physically disabled persons as it is following the Central Government guidelines which does not provide for the same.

Seemingly unconvinced, the Court has now asked the State Government to explain as to what is the difficulty with it if it opts to a guideline to inoculate physically challenged persons even in the absence of the Central Government guidelines, on the next date fixed.

“We hope and trust that the State Government would try to purchase as many vials of desired vaccine as possible to vaccinate maximum number and at least more than 2/3 of the population in 2-3 months’ time,” the Court said and fixed the next date of hearing on May 17. ILNS/AP/RJ

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