BENGALURU: Doctors, ASHA workers, ANMs and health workers have moved the Karnataka High Court seeking judicial intervention over not being provided with face masks, gloves, sanitisers and PPE kits in Bidar and Kalaburagi.
Taking serious note of their grievances during a special sitting held via video conference on Tuesday, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice BV Nagarathna issued several directions to the state. In an e-mail sent to the Registration (Judicial) of the HC, Dr Zeenath, professor and HoD of Pathology in Employees’ State Insurance Hospital, Kalaburagi, stated that the hospital staff hasn’t been given even masks. She pointed out that some staff members were in the same room as a COVID-19 positive patient at ESI Hospital. The registrar has also received an e-mail from ASHA, ANMs and health workers in Bidar.
The bench has asked the state to disclose the numbers in terms of masks and other protective gear. “The state will have also to clarify whether PPE kits can be made available at a cost to private hospitals and clinics. It must make a statement on whether PPE kits and sanitisers have been made available to all public hospitals. We expect the state to respond by April 9, 2020, the next date of hearing”, the bench said.
‘Protect life of health workers, pay them salary’
In an email petition, Dr Rajiv Ramesh Gothe raised the issue of failure to protect the life and limb of registered medical practitioners, workers, ASHA workers and other accredited and non-accredited workers. Dr Gothe also prayed the court to direct the state to take stringent action against the offenders. He also prayed the court to issue directions to states to pay salaries and other benefits to health workers. The bench directed the state to respond by April 9.