DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday while hearing a public interest litigation asked the state government to apprise the court whether "any additional measures can be incorporated in atleast the main and the most frequently visited Government hospitals of the state, so that the doctors who are examining the patients in their OPD are properly protected in these times".
A letter was written by a practising advocate Dushyant Mainali to the Chief Justice of the High Court on April 7 raising concerns over medical facilities to fight Covid-19 outbreak.
The advocate general representing the state government told the court that the government has 'enough PPE suits in the store' and the concerned government hospitals have also been supplied with this equipment as per their need and requirement.
The government has been given time till April 17 to file a report about what measures have been taken in compliance with the guidelines of World Health Organization dated February 27, 2020 and the guidelines of the union ministry of health, government of India dated March 25, 2020 and whether any additional measures can be incorporated in atleast the main and the most frequently visited Government hospitals of the state, so that the doctors who are examining the patients in their outer patients department are properly protected in these times.
As the hearing went on, the state government also raised concerns that they have only three laboratories where testing facilities are available. These are – Dr Susheela Tiwari Medical College and Hospital, Haldwani, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh and Doon Medical College, Dehradun which are not enough and their number must be raised.
After hearing all the concerned authorities, a common consensus was reached by state and the central government that it is desirable that at least three more testing laboratories may be made functional- one each at Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital districts.
The letter requested immediate steps to effectively implement the guidelines of WHO and the central government to prevent the spread of the infection, to do ensure availability of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), to immediately seize and prohibit the sale/ black-marketing of all the
Thermal/ Infrared Thermometers, gloves, surgical masks, face shields and PPE suits available in any of the Retail/ Wholesale surgical shops/stores/ go-downs /dealerships of the state so as to restrain their supply to any other person other than the health professionals dealing with Covid-19 cases and payments thereof be made on scheduled rates, to take interim possession of all such PPE gears, screening apparatus,
Thermal Infrared Thermometers in the possession of all the Private Hospitals/ Clinics/ Polyclinics throughout the state (except the minimum Nos. to deal with their emergency cases) in favor of State
Health department so as to provide them to frontline Covid-19 dedicated Medical staff and screening teams and to perform their statutory duty and provide adequate security to doctors and other para-medical professionals, including separate transportation facilities, separate accommodation/ isolation rooms to
protect exposure of their families, and food facilities.