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COVID-19: Gujarat HC Reserves Order On Plea For Enactment Of 'Emergency PPE Law' To Ensure Availability Of Protective Gears For Health Workers [Read Petition]

27 March 2020 2:46 PM GMT
COVID-19: Gujarat HC Reserves Order On Plea For Enactment Of Emergency PPE Law To Ensure Availability Of Protective Gears For Health Workers [Read Petition]
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"Infrastructure, healthcare personnel (doctors, nurses and supportive staff) and personal protective equipment (PPE) are the three pillars of management in the inpatient setting. It is stated Healthcare professionals and PPE are the holy grail of medical management. An intact healthcare community is imperative to tackling the crisis and without PPE this is an impossible task." Petitioner said.

The Gujarat High Court on Friday, after hearing the arguments via video conferencing, reserved order on a petition seeking a direction to the government to supply enough stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers, stationed at the frontline to treat the patients of the deadly COVID-19.

The plea filed by one Dr. Prabha Taviad through Advocate Dhruvik K. Patel states that the government's lax approach in prohibiting the export of protective gears, such as N95 masks and gloves, enabled the foreign governments, catered by Indian private companies, in stockpiling the PPE. This has allegedly resulted in shortage of PPE in India and the health workers, who are in direct contact with the patients, have been "pushed" to work under unsafe conditions.

"Other affected countries took measures to not only ban export of PPE products but also raw materials. It is submitted that until the same was banned, the indian companies continued catering to foreign governments, which were stockpiling.

…despite repeated guidelines being issued by the World Health Organization, the government has been slow in implementing the same and now the situation had arisen wherein doctors and other volunteers are pushed in to a dangerous situation wherein there are no safety equipments," the plea states.

In these circumstances, the Petitioner has asserted that the government should boost PPE production and supply and it should further ensure that the benefits actually reach the intended community of health workers, instead of people's homes or hoarders.

Inter alia, a prayer has also been made to direct the government to form an emergency PPE law enacted for production, distribution and utilization of the same, so as to ensure that enough stock is maintained for the health care workers across the State of Gujarat.

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