The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Central Government to take appropriate steps to ensure that senior citizens who are living alone amidst the COVID-19 pandemic are given proper care.
The Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy recognized the obligation of the Government in taking care and protecting the elderly who live alone, by securing the availability of essential goods and services to them.
To this end, the Court directed the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to make sure that old-age pension continues to be paid on a regular and timely basis.
Furthermore, all States have been directed to provide prompt responses to requests made by senior citizens, especially those living alone during these times of COVID-19. The Court thus acknowledged the need to assure the elderly of effective assistance, as and when such assistance was called for.
Taking further stock of the situation, the Apex Court has also asked the Central Government to ensure that caregivers across old-age homes are provided with necessary precautionary equipment. Justice Bhushan stressed that all caregivers should wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits and follow the safety norms regarding sanitization and precautions to be taken against COVID-19.
The Bench was hearing a petition filed by former Union Law Minister and Senior Advocate Ashwani Kumar, which throws light on the concerns of senior citizens living alone and seeks Rights of the Elderly to be safeguarded.
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