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'Virtually Impossible To Get First Dose Of Vaccine In State Due To Shortage' : Karnataka High Court Asks Centre To Consider State's Critical Situation

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
6 May 2021 10:19 AM GMT
Virtually Impossible To Get First Dose Of Vaccine In State Due To Shortage : Karnataka High Court Asks Centre To Consider States Critical Situation
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Observing that "virtually it impossible in the state for citizens to get their first dose of vaccination unless they fall in the category of health care worker and frontline worker," the Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the State government to submit a requisition to the Central government for making available vaccine doses. The Centre has been directed to decide on the...

Observing that "virtually it impossible in the state for citizens to get their first dose of vaccination unless they fall in the category of health care worker and frontline worker," the Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the State government to submit a requisition to the Central government for making available vaccine doses.

The Centre has been directed to decide on the State's requisition within 3 days.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar said :

"Thus the scenario about the vaccination available is, to say the least, shocking. Available doses of 7,76,675 will have to be given firstly to those beneficiaries who have taken the first dose and the requisite period of second dose as per notification of the Central government is likely to expire. Second priority can be given to health care workers and frontline workers. In short, in the situation that prevails today, it is virtually impossible in the state of Karnataka for citizens to get their first dose of vaccination unless they fall in the category of healthcare workers and frontline workers."

Accordingly, it directed the state government to immediately submit a requisition to the Central government for supply required quantity of dosage of vaccine (Age Group 60 and above and 45 years to 59 years with co-morbidities are provided free vaccine by Central Government).

"All the details shall be provided by the state government in the requisition. State shall also mention the number of beneficiaries who are likely to lose advantage of the first dose, if the vaccine is not administered to them immediately," it said.

It added "Submit the requisition to the concerned authority of the Central government during the course of the day. The concerned authority shall take appropriate decision immediately and in any event within 3 days of requisition."

The state government informed the court that requisition has been made to private manufacturers on May 3, for supply of vaccine, for the age group of 18 years to 44 years. So far vaccines are not received for the same. The court said "It is necessary for the central government to take up the issue regarding the matters of vaccine so that the state government can immediately receive the quota for vaccines for the age group of 18 to 44 years."

The bench opined "We may note here that considering the figures which are set out in the written submission filed by the state govt, there is hardly any scope in state today for administering first dose vaccination. We hope and trust that the central govt will consider this critical situation while dealing with the requisition made by the state government."

The bench also directed the state government to evolve a scheme for assisting citizens for getting themselves registered on the government portal. It said "Assistance will have to be rendered to vulnerable sections of society. Unless people of the said society are registered the object of vaccination will be frustrated."

Further, the court suggested to the state to consider undertaking targeted vaccination drives for workers such as crematorium workers, sanitation workers etc. It has directed the state to respond on this by the next date of hearing.

Other Directions:

Advocate Clifton Rozario appearing for one of the petitioners brought to the notice of the court that there is a rapid spread in the slums of Bengaluru city of the infection. People residing there are not made aware of the whom to contact if they are infected or about vaccination. He urged the court to issue directions to the authorities to immediately provide necessary facilities to the residents.

Accordingly, the court said "This IA raises an important issue regarding those who are residing in slums of Bengaluru. The counsel states that there are about 1000 slums in the city of Bengaluru and a large percentage of population is occupying the slums. We direct the state government to file written submissions/objections dealing with this IA and also come out with a scheme for ensuring that covid-19 does not spread in slums in the city."

Availability of Beds:

BBMP Counsel Sreenidhi V informed the court about the availability of beds in the city. He submitted that as of 1.30 pm today, general beds available are 1933. HDU beds 30, ICU beds 20 and ICU with ventilator beds is 9. The bench said "Situation is very grim."

However, Advocate Sreenidhi informed the court that Chief Commissioner is on a war footing, of making available oxygen in ward levels. "We are going to ward levels to find out now how many hospitals have how much oxygen and how much is needed. We are now taking over 12 maternity hospitals with 233 oxygenated beds. We are also in all government hospitals adding additional 100 oxygenated beds. Something, like step down hospitals we are planning to do", he said.

The court accordingly directed the BBMP to place on record all steps taken by it on the next date of hearing.

Food Security Issue during Lockdown.

The court directed the state government to place on record the decision taken on the issue of Food security during lockdown by Monday, (May 10). The bench said "We have already clarified in our earlier orders that identified vulnerable sections of the society by the state government the benefits which are ordered to be provided by earlier orders of the court shall be made immediately available."

The matters will be next heard on May 11.

 


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