29 Jun 2021 9:32 AM GMT
"We do not see nor are we provided with a rational and planned thinking process. Emergent situation seem to have been met on need basis," commented the Sikkim High Court with respect to management of the Covid-19 crisis in the State. It observed that although the State Government took several steps to ramp up the health infrastructure and facilities to deal with the deadly virus, it...
"We do not see nor are we provided with a rational and planned thinking process. Emergent situation seem to have been met on need basis," commented the Sikkim High Court with respect to management of the Covid-19 crisis in the State.
It observed that although the State Government took several steps to ramp up the health infrastructure and facilities to deal with the deadly virus, it did not formulate any "concrete policy" to face the wrath of the pandemic.
The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari and Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan was of the opinion that the experience in the last two years of the pandemic provides a number of useful information and indicators for the State to augment its resources in a more systematic and planned manner, which is the need of the hour.
"The studies and experiences of other countries and other States would also be a huge resource for the State to formulate a good policy," it added.
The remarks were made while hearing the suo moto case on Covid-19 management.
The Bench has expressed concern as no timeline has been set up for formulating a policy and various measures to ramp up infrastructural medical and clinical facilities in light of the potential third wave of Covid-19.
It has told the State's Technical Committee that the policy should be in place within a week and augmentation done as per the policy before the onslaught of the third wave. The Committee has also been asked to take into account various guidelines issued by the Central Health Ministry for protection of children and other vulnerable category of persons, etc.
Inter alia, directions have been issued for accelerating the vaccination program for the entire population of Sikkim and conclude the same within shortest possible time. In this regard, the Centre has been urged to provide more vaccines to Sikkim.
Population Of Sikkim Meagre Yet Vaccines Not Available: High Court Asks State To Take Proactive Steps For Procurement; Frame Policy To Combat Third Wave Of Covid-19
"Considering the rather small population yet to be vaccinated, the number of vaccination achieved by the State within the short period, the present disease burden leading to high positivity and death rate coupled with the inadequate medical facilities in the State of Sikkim it may not be inappropriate for the Centre and the State to ensure that the entire population of the State which is eligible for vaccination is vaccinated at the earliest by increasing the State quota of vaccines," the Bench said.
Additionally, directions have been issued for augmenting medical infrastructure in all four the districts, keeping in mind that intra-district dependency for treatment may not be feasible in light of acute geographical barriers.
"We are of the considered view that the Centre as well the State must act in unison to provide the necessary infrastructure to all the districts in Sikkim so that RTPCR testing facilities are available for every citizen of the State easily
This becomes imperative due to the fact that with the onset of monsoons which lasts for several months in a year landslides completely cut of the districts from the capital Gangtok making it extremely difficult for people to travel all the way to Gangtok to avail the facilities here," the order stated.
The matter is now kept for hearing on July 7, 2021.
Case Title: In Re : Covid 19 Management
Click Here To Download Order