LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court Tuesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government as to why it was not providing medicine and meals to Covid-19 patients in home-isolation as it was doing during the first wave of the pandemic.
The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court further sought a response of the state government on paramedical staff not being provided lodging facility after duty hours as they risk infecting their own family members if they visit home after taking care of Covid-19 patients.
It also asked the state counsel to obtain instructions from the government on the shortages of vaccines for the 18-44 age group.
A bench of justices Rajan Roy and Saurabh Lavania passed the order on a PIL moved by lawyer HP Gupta.
Hearing the petition through video conferencing, the bench directed the additional chief standing counsel HP Srivastava to seek detailed instructions on the issues.
Earlier, the court kept open the question of maintainability of the PIL at the Lucknow bench because the Allahabad HC has already been hearing issues related to Covid-19 in the state on suo-motu basis.
The bench said, "While we are conscious of the fact that similar issues have taken the attention of this Court at Allahabad in a PIL, there are certain contentions which need to be taken note of, therefore, keeping the question open as to whether this petition should be entertained and proceeded with or the petitioner should be asked to intervene in the proceedings pending at Allahabad, we take note of contentions raised by the counsel for the petitioner Dr V K Singh, here."
The bench further asked the counsel for the high court administration Gaurav Mehrotra to obtain instructions as to whether there is feasibility of establishing a makeshift Covid-19 hospital on the new campus of the HC at Gomti Nagar for lawyers, judicial staff, employees and their family members.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday hit out at the Yogi Adityanath dispensation over the alleged low COVID-19 testing in Uttar Pradesh, and asked if the state government was preparing to make way for a third wave and then fight it.
Her attack on the government came a day after the Allahabad High Court said the entire medical system in villages and small cities of Uttar Pradesh is at God's mercy ('Ram bharose').
"Only 800-1,000 RT-PCR tests are being conducted every day for the same 32 lakh population of Bijnor. The honourable high court has said that 4,000-5,000 RT-PCR tests should be done daily in a district like Bijnor or else we are inviting the third wave," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
"Is the UP government preparing to make way for the third wave and then fight it," the Congress general secretary said, tagging media reports on the high court's observations.
If a self-praising government was not there in Lucknow, it would have tried to look at the reality of COVID-19 in the 'Indira Gramin Kshetra' just 35 km away, Gandhi said in another tweet in Hindi and shared a media report on it.
"Neither there is testing, nor treatment, nor medical kits, but the government says that everything is fit," she said.
The Allahabad High Court had made the 'Ram Bharose' observation while hearing a PIL over the coronavirus spread and the condition of quarantine centres in the state.
A high court bench of justices Siddharth Verma and Ajit Kumar made the observation while taking into account the death of Santosh Kumar (64), who was admitted to an isolation ward at a Meerut hospital.
Gandhi and other Opposition leaders have hit out at the state government over the handling of the COVID-19 situation, while the UP government has been rejecting all such criticism.