18 Sep 2020 2:16 PM GMT
The Tripura High Court on Friday (18th September) made a few observations and suggestions for the consideration of the State Government which in Court's opinion "would enable the administration to handle the Coronavirus care better."The Division Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra put forth such suggestions and observations after perusing the affidavit dated...
The Tripura High Court on Friday (18th September) made a few observations and suggestions for the consideration of the State Government which in Court's opinion "would enable the administration to handle the Coronavirus care better."
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra put forth such suggestions and observations after perusing the affidavit dated 17th September 2020 filed by Dr. Subhasis Debbarma, Director to the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Tripura in response to the Court's order dated 11th September 2020.
Suggestions/Directions/Observations of the Court
On the issue of wearing face masks and maintaining Social Distancing
As per the observations of the Central team which visited the State recently, the reasons for deaths due to the disease were attributable to the 3 (three) factors - (a) Not using mask properly; (b) Not maintaining social distance; (c) Late admission in the hospitals.
To this, the Court said,
"When the experts in the field put so much stress on the proper use of face masks in order to reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus, we still find that large number of people move about in public places either without masks or without properly wearing the masks, thereby putting themselves as well as others to grave risks."
Further, the Court asked the State Government to indicate the amount of fine being collected for breach of the directive of wearing masks in public places and the number of cases in which such fine has been collected.
The Court asked the Government to ensure that this rule is enforced to the maximum possible extent. Maintaining social distancing in public places is also equally essential.
Most importantly, the Court remarked,
"The State Government may list the efforts being made to enforce this requirement. It may be a good idea to increase the awareness and tactical use of enforcement of this requirement of maintaining social distance."
On the Issue of continuous communication from the hospital administration to the relatives of the patients
The Court stressed the requirement of continuous communication from the hospital administration to the relatives of the patients.
In this context, the court opined,
"It is important for the members of the family of the patient to be assured that their relative who is admitted in the hospital is being well looked after and his overall health issues are being properly addressed. Even if these things are being done, it is important that the same is communicated periodically to the relatives of the patient."
Further, the Court suggested the administration to consider setting up a Special Inquiry Cell at AGMC hospital from where information may be available round the clock and the information on the health condition of all admitted patients is centralized at the said centre.
The Court further remarked,
"This would go a long way in instilling confidence in the public health system and even if, as is bound to happen, in a given case something untoward happens, the relatives of the patient would be assured that it did not happen on account of lack of any efforts on part of the administration in administering proper treatment."
Other Suggestions/Directions/Observations of the Court
1- The detail regarding break-up of engagement of Lab Technicians (district wise) by the State was asked by the Court.
3- The affidavit shall give the break-up of the admitted number of patients and available beds as on 7th September 2020 as well as currently in AGMC & GBP Hospital, Agartala. Besides the said hospital at Agartala there are dedicated COVID health centres and COVID care centres. The affidavit shall give the break-up of the capacity of these centres to treat patients.
4- The Court asked for the number of ventilators available at present. The affidavit states that whenever a patient is to be shifted from elsewhere to AGMC & GBP hospital, it is done through dedicated ambulance having full equipment with a continuous supply of oxygen. The number of such fully equipped units available in the State shall also be disclosed.
5- The Court observed that efforts should be made to negotiate the rates with the private hospital so that the relatives of the patients who wish to take treatment in a private hospital are not forced to pay unreasonable or exorbitant charges.
6- Further, affidavit shall provide the data of the number of testing done every day in last one week, the positivity rate of those who were tested and the current recovery rate in the State.
7- The Court suggested that the administration may also consider setting up a centre for receiving complaints and suggestions. If a complaint resolution mechanism is set up, genuine issues can be resolved
9- From the affidavit, the Court gathered that the Central medical team which had recently visited the State has submitted a report to the State Government. Copy of the report has also been asked for the perusal of the Court.
Lastly, the Court took note of the concerns of the learned Advocate General that when the State is grappling with a pandemic of gigantic scales, it is important for all concerned to show maturity in dealing with the situation which alone can help us to tackle and eventually overcome the crisis.
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