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"Helpless In the Matter Of Vaccine Procurement": Gujarat Govt Tells Gujarat High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
26 May 2021 4:36 PM GMT
Helpless In the Matter Of Vaccine Procurement: Gujarat Govt Tells Gujarat High Court
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The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday (May 26) directed the State Government to take all necessary actions immediately with regard to the improvement of the Health infrastructure in the rural areas as also for creating awareness amongst the public at large of the Mucormycosis disease.The State Government also echoed the helplessness in procuring enough stock of vaccines by submitting that...

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday (May 26) directed the State Government to take all necessary actions immediately with regard to the improvement of the Health infrastructure in the rural areas as also for creating awareness amongst the public at large of the Mucormycosis disease.

The State Government also echoed the helplessness in procuring enough stock of vaccines by submitting that though the State Government has placed orders, for procuring in all 3 crores of vaccines, there is no timeline given by the manufacturers for the delivery of the said vaccines, as there are only 7 vaccine manufacturers in the world and they are not in a position to match with the high requirement of the same.

The Bench of Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice B. D. Karia also directed the state Government to come up with the policy of distribution of Liposomal Amphotericin B injections (effective to treat Mucormycosis disease) more transparent, specific and effective.

Court's observations

The Bench also observed that there is a glimmer of hope seen that the situation has improved, however, the Court did remark:

"It is too early to say anything on the trend of Covid­-19 waves. Considering the magnitude of the cases of Covid19 and its fall out, the Court is of the opinion that the State should not remain complacent and should continue its endeavour to do its best to fight with the third­waive as apprehended by the medical experts."

The Court specifically observed that here is a need to strengthen the health infrastructure in rural areas by not only making the sub­centres, primary health centres and community centres well equipped with the machines but by providing enough manpower by appointing doctors and nursing staff on a permanent basis.

Directions issued by the Court to the State Government

  • It would be more beneficial and in the interest of the public at large to release the official video and to widely publish the literature about the said disease, which is now declared as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Disease Act 1897.\
  • In order to systematize the distribution and to establish efficient and time­bound system of distribution of Liposomal Amphotericin B injections, the policy of the State must notify the authority/expert body constituted in each district, as also the procedure to be followed by the hospitals i.e. Government/Corporation/ Private hospitals for the procurement of the said Liposomal Amphotericin B injections.
  • The allocation made to the said hospitals and the usage of the said injections made by the hospitals also should be displayed on the website of the Health Department.
  • The concerned hospitals also should be made responsible to submit the reports regarding the usage of the said injections.

Submissions of the State Government

The State Government submitted before the Court that it has been trying its level best to sort out most of the issues raised by the Court and that there is an established mechanism in place for providing treatment to Covid­19 patients in the dedicated Covid Hospitals and dedicated Health Care Centres, as also for distribution of Remdesivir injections to the said Hospitals.

As regards the issue of vaccination, the State Government submitted that the State Government has already issued instructions for considering all the persons working in the special homes and at the Child Care Institutions as front­line workers for according them the priority for Covid Vaccination.

As regards the shortage of Liposomal Amphotericin B injection, which is used to treat the Mucormycosis patients, the State Government submitted that the distribution system has been established in all the districts/corporations.

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