12 Sep 2020 9:17 AM GMT
The Tripura High Court on Friday (11-09-2020) asked the State to provide relevant details in connection with various issues related to COVID-19.The Division Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra noted,"That it is a matter of public knowledge that the number of Coronavirus cases in the state is steadily increasing and has reached a high figure."The Court acknowledged...
The Tripura High Court on Friday (11-09-2020) asked the State to provide relevant details in connection with various issues related to COVID-19.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra noted,
"That it is a matter of public knowledge that the number of Coronavirus cases in the state is steadily increasing and has reached a high figure."
The Court acknowledged the fact that the number of deaths related to Coronavirus is also on the rise. Recent newspaper reports particularly published in vernacular language have reported the plight of the patients and relatives of those who have been tested positive of the virus. Certain shortcomings in the public health care system are projected.
Further, the Court observed,
"While recognizing the need to allow the Government to do its duty during these difficult times, this Court is of the opinion that the time has come when the Court needs to make inquiries from the Government with respect to the issues revolving around the handling of coronavirus spread in the State and more particularly of providing health care to those who are tested positive." (emphasis supplied)
Important observations made by the High Court
The Court took into account the following points:
* Taking the example of a COVID Centre, the court noted that the number of patients admitted at the said centre was higher than the total number of beds available.
* In the entire State, it appears that there are only 19 ventilators available, all at AGMC and GBP hospital, Agartala. This would imply that all patients with acute breathing problem and who are required to be put on a ventilator would have to be shifted to Agartala.
* If such a situation develops suddenly, shifting the patient from a remote area would be a challenge.
* The Court also came across a newspaper report published in Daily Desher Katha describing the plight of a corona patient who took discharge from AGMC and GBP hospital in order to admit himself at ILS hospital, Agartala which is a private hospital, but was refused admission.
Consequently, the Court noted that these and various other issues require further examination. Under the circumstances, the Court sent the notice to the respondents, returnable for 18th September 2020.
The respondents have to file a reply before the returnable date, particularly providing the following details:
1- The number of active corona cases in the State, if possible with district wise break-up.
2- The number of corona treatment centres with the break-up of which are fully equipped with necessary infrastructure, medicines and medical and paramedical staff.
3- Whether there is any private hospital in the State which has been given permission to admit coronavirus patients. If yes, the maximum capacity of such hospital(s) to admit such patients and the treatment charges which these hospitals have been authorized by the Government to collect from the patients.
4- Steps taken by the administration to ensure that the relatives of the patients are updated about the health condition and the treatment being given to the patient as well as to ensure the communication between the patient and his/her relatives.
5- Details of the fund allocation at different Government hospitals treating corona patients. The break-up of the funds available for corona treatment and treatment for other ailments if bifurcated shall be provided.
6- Details of availability of essential equipment such as oxygen supply devices, PPE Kits for doctors and paramedical staff etc.
7- Details of availability of doctors and paramedical staff at each corona treatment centre and the assessed requirement of such medical and paramedical staff as also, the basis on which such assessment has been made by the State.
Lastly, the Court remarked,
"We are sure the Government would address the concerns of the general public as are projected by the print media and take such measures as are necessary to improve the condition in Government treatment centres."
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