NEW DELHI: National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on the plight of pregnant women and alleged denial of treatment to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the letter, Sharma said that it has come across many cases where non-availability of adequate ambulances for maternity services and denial of admission in hospitals led to delay in reaching the heath facility, whereas in some cases it has also resulted in the death of the mother and the newborn baby, according to a statement issued by the NCW on Tuesday.
The Commission said that it is a matter of "great concern" and a note has been taken regarding the lapse on the part of hospitals and authorities in these crucial times.
The statement said the NCW chief mentioned that it had earlier written to all states and union territories regarding proper implementation of programmes and schemes for institutional delivery mechanism to control maternal and infant mortality rate in India.
The Commission has urged the health minister to intervene in the matter.
It has also requested the Union Health Ministry to issue a direction to health departments of every state and union territory for ensuring non-COVID-19 ambulance services, allocation of separate beds for pregnant women and a dedicated helpline number to safeguard the health of women and their newborn babies, the statement said.