Rashid Paul

HC seeks govt response on lack of PPEs in hospitals, bad condition of quarantine centres

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Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Saturday asked the government to file its response on the complaints of lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in government-run hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir besides the “awful” condition of quarantine centers for COVID-19 suspects.

The court took cognizance of the complaints by some lawyers regarding the lack of PPEs for doctors in government-run hospitals and the “awful” condition of quarantine centers in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the respondent officers to file response before the next date of hearing in the matter.

The court was hearing certain public interest petitions on the situation arising out of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the union territory.

On the issue of ensuring provision of care to dependants and families of frontline workers engaged in management of the COVID-19, the court asked the Mission Director, ICPS, Social Welfare Department to file a proper report by before the next date of hearing.

Regarding the removal of the two month long lockdown and provision of information to the public, the Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education Department told the court that directions on all the issues relating to COVID-19 are issued by the Ministry of Home (MoH), Government of India.  All these directions have been complied with by the government of the centrally administered union territory of J&K.

The court after hearing the submission observed that no further judicial intervention is then required in the matter and closed the issue.

On addressing the issues of safety, care, health and violence against healthcare professionals and clinical establishments and need for a legislative framework, the court was appraised of a MoH communication.  The communiqué did not support the bill due to various reasons.

“Enacting a separate legislation for prohibiting violence against doctors and other health-care professionals would give rise to similar demands from other categories of professionals, viz. media persons, advocates, bankers,” the statement said.

The court directed the concerned officers of BSNL to operationalize -e connectivity to all the courts in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This issue regarding operationalising e-connectivity of the Courts is extremely serious matter, given the fact that court functioning is completely dependent on the same, especially on account of the COVID-19 issues,” observed the bench.

It expressed dismay that out of 84 court locations identified for e-connectivity, only 37 are working in Jammu and Kashmir.

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