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Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC

The Court has issued a slew of directions while also seeking detailed information into various aspects of the covid situation in the state, from the 20 deaths in Meerut to the demise of a sitting judge of the court due to Covid, and the vaccination plan

Sabrangindia 12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:theleaflet.in

The Allahabad High Court has directed the state government to come up with a plan to vaccinate the physically challenged and those who are unable to register themselves online due to socio-economic conditions. This is among the many directions issued by the Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar which has been closely monitoring and scrutinising the Covid situation in the state, while questioning the government on every little anomaly. The bench has also directed that a Public Grievance Committee be formed at district level to address the complaints of the people with regards to Covid management.

After perusal of the affidavit filed by Home Secretary Badugu Deva Paulson, the court observed that neither the information sought by it through its April 27 order was provided, nor compliance has been made to its directions. The court pointed out that:

  • health bulletin to be issued by the Covid hospital both government and private  through the district based portal has not been updated
  • proper procurement and supply of the life savings drugs/ life support systems like BiPaP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks have not been made available to the various hospitals
  •  Testing in the state has gradually reduced
  • details regarding oxygen production in the State qua 22 hospitals has not been provided
     ambulances with advance life support system are less
  • No details have been given regarding food supplied to the Level 2 and 3 hospitals
    figures of death have not been shown date wise between 19th April, 2021 and 2nd May, 2021

On the issue of information on food supplied to all hospitals as sought by the court, it said, “Only fact stated is that Rs.100 is allocated per patient in Level-1 category hospital. It is well known fact that the Covid patient needs highly nutritious food that should include fruits and milk in his daily diet and we fail to understand as to how with Rs.100 per capita budget the Government is managing three times meal in Level-1 category hospital with 2100 required calories.”

Deaths in Meerut

The District Magistrate, Meerut submitted a report conducted by a two member Committee enquiring into 20 deaths at Meerut Government Medical College and Hospital. The court was not satisfied with the same and questioned the Principal of the College who informed the court that out of the 20, only 3 were Covid positive patients and the antigen tests of the rest were negative. When the court questioned why a truenat test was not done, the Principal stated that the facility is not available at the hospital. “It is strange that Medical College, Meerut does not have any True Natt machine whereas Government claimed to have made it available in all government hospitals and directed all private hospitals to have it compulsorily,” the court expressed its surprise.

In such cases, the patients are treated as non-covid patients and their body is handed over to the family. The court raised concern over this and directed that even if it is the case of suspected death of Covid patients for antigen testing they should be treated as covid deaths. “No hospital can be permitted to hold these cases as non- Covid cases so as to reduce number of Covid deaths in that particular hospital,” the court held.

“In our considered opinion in these days of Covid surge, if a person is admitted to the hospital with ILI (Influenza like infection) and where only antigen testing has taken place or in the event RTPCR is delayed and in the meanwhile patient dies and if such deceased persons had no history of having cardiac or kidney problem then presumption should be raised that such death was caused by Covid infection only for the limited purpose of maintaining records and also following Covid protocol for the disposal of dead body,” observed the court.

Pandemic Public Grievance Committee

The court directed that in every district of the state, a three-member Pandemic Public Grievance Committee shall be formed. Chief Judicial Magistrate or a judicial officer of similar rank; Professor of a Medical College or a level-3/4 doctor of district hospital; and an administrative officer of the rank of Additional District Magistrate will be members. The court directed that this Committee shall come into existence within 48 hours of passing of this order.

Further, for rural areas, the court stated that complaints can be directly made to SDM of concerned Tehsil who shall transmit the same to Pandemic Public Grievance Committee. The court also tasked the Committee to look into news reports where the public can be seen raising their grievances regarding non-cooperation of the government and private hospital staff and so on.

Life saving machines

The Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal informed the court that sufficient number of oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks had been provided to the Community Health Centres and directives were issued but when the court questioned whether how many were delivered, the state sought time to respond. “Such details are required to be known because in rural areas by and large the facilities are not available and the villagers are dying of Covid for want of proper care,” the court observed.

Information on 5 districts

The court has sought specific information from the state with respect to 5 districts namely Bahraich, Barabanki, Bijnor, Jaunpur and Shravasti. Apart from the information mentioned below, the court has also sought number of testing done in these districts from March 31 to till date:

(1) Number of city population;

(2) Number of level-1 and level-3 hospitals with details of beds;

(3) Number of doctors, anesthetists in level-2 level-3 hospital;

(4) medical and paramedical staffs

(5) Number of BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks

(6) Number of rural population tehsil-wise,

(7) Number of community health centres,

(8) availability of beds in community health centres

(9) number of life saving gadgets like High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks, BiPAP Machines;

(10) Number of oxygen concentrators with capacity details in community health centres,

(11) Number of medical and para-medical staff.

Sun Hospital, Lucknow

Adv. Amrendra Nath Tripathi informed the court that on May 1 and May 2, there was no supply of oxygen cylinders to the hospital by the District Administration and the claims made by the administration that oxygen was supplied are false. He submitted that instead of considering the reply and verifying the facts, the District Magistrate, Lucknow rushed to lodge the first information report against the hospital to show compliance of Court’s order. He also stated that due to the FIR, the hospital management was being subjected to harassment and was not able to treat Covid patients.

The court directed District Magistrate, Lucknow to file an affidavit in response by next date and directed that no coercive measures be taken against the Hospital and its staff with respect to the FIR until the court decides the matter.

Vaccination

While the court refused to intervene in the state government’s decision to float tender in the global market for covid vaccines, it took the view that the vaccination programme ought to be expedited on a war footing. The court hoped that at least more than 2/3rd of the state’s population is inoculated in the next 2-3 months.

The court refused to accept the state’s submissions on the court’s query on how vaccination of the physically challenged will be carried out. The state had submitted that it was following centre’s policy of walk-in for 45+ age group and online registration for 18-44 age group.

The court directed the Centre to submit its plan on how it proposes to inoculate those physically challenged persons who cannot be brought to the vaccination centres and then those who cannot make online registration. The court also asked the state government to explain why it cannot adopt a policy for inoculating the physically challenged in absence of Centre’ guidelines.

“The Central Government and State Government are directed to place before this Court the programme by which they would vaccinate those illiterate labours and other villagers between the age group of 18 and 45 years if they are not able to register online for vaccination,” the court ordered.

Justice VK Srivastava’s death

The court had sought a detailed report on treatment given to Late Justice VK Srivastava, a sitting judge of the Allahabad High Court, who succumbed to Covid. Upon perusal of the documents, the court observed that it was unclear whether Remdesevir was administered since no note of the same was made in his file. Further, there was no pulmonologist at Ram Manohar Lohia Institution of Science, Lucknow where he was initially admitted. The court thus directed the State Government to constitute a Committee that shall have a Secretary level officer as its convener with a senior Pulmonologist from SGPGI, Lucknow and a Senior Advocate to be nominated by the President/ Elders Committee of Awadh Bar Association as its members to hold a fact finding into this matter. The court directed such Committee be formed within 3 days and submit a report to the court within two weeks of being formed.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Allahabad HC not satisfied with DM Meerut’s response over oxygen shortage
Uttar Pradesh O2 crisis: FIR against Lucknow hospital for putting up shortage notice
Death of Covid patients due to oxygen shortage is not less than genocide: Allahabad HC

Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC

The Court has issued a slew of directions while also seeking detailed information into various aspects of the covid situation in the state, from the 20 deaths in Meerut to the demise of a sitting judge of the court due to Covid, and the vaccination plan

Image Courtesy:theleaflet.in

The Allahabad High Court has directed the state government to come up with a plan to vaccinate the physically challenged and those who are unable to register themselves online due to socio-economic conditions. This is among the many directions issued by the Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar which has been closely monitoring and scrutinising the Covid situation in the state, while questioning the government on every little anomaly. The bench has also directed that a Public Grievance Committee be formed at district level to address the complaints of the people with regards to Covid management.

After perusal of the affidavit filed by Home Secretary Badugu Deva Paulson, the court observed that neither the information sought by it through its April 27 order was provided, nor compliance has been made to its directions. The court pointed out that:

  • health bulletin to be issued by the Covid hospital both government and private  through the district based portal has not been updated
  • proper procurement and supply of the life savings drugs/ life support systems like BiPaP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks have not been made available to the various hospitals
  •  Testing in the state has gradually reduced
  • details regarding oxygen production in the State qua 22 hospitals has not been provided
     ambulances with advance life support system are less
  • No details have been given regarding food supplied to the Level 2 and 3 hospitals
    figures of death have not been shown date wise between 19th April, 2021 and 2nd May, 2021

On the issue of information on food supplied to all hospitals as sought by the court, it said, “Only fact stated is that Rs.100 is allocated per patient in Level-1 category hospital. It is well known fact that the Covid patient needs highly nutritious food that should include fruits and milk in his daily diet and we fail to understand as to how with Rs.100 per capita budget the Government is managing three times meal in Level-1 category hospital with 2100 required calories.”

Deaths in Meerut

The District Magistrate, Meerut submitted a report conducted by a two member Committee enquiring into 20 deaths at Meerut Government Medical College and Hospital. The court was not satisfied with the same and questioned the Principal of the College who informed the court that out of the 20, only 3 were Covid positive patients and the antigen tests of the rest were negative. When the court questioned why a truenat test was not done, the Principal stated that the facility is not available at the hospital. “It is strange that Medical College, Meerut does not have any True Natt machine whereas Government claimed to have made it available in all government hospitals and directed all private hospitals to have it compulsorily,” the court expressed its surprise.

In such cases, the patients are treated as non-covid patients and their body is handed over to the family. The court raised concern over this and directed that even if it is the case of suspected death of Covid patients for antigen testing they should be treated as covid deaths. “No hospital can be permitted to hold these cases as non- Covid cases so as to reduce number of Covid deaths in that particular hospital,” the court held.

“In our considered opinion in these days of Covid surge, if a person is admitted to the hospital with ILI (Influenza like infection) and where only antigen testing has taken place or in the event RTPCR is delayed and in the meanwhile patient dies and if such deceased persons had no history of having cardiac or kidney problem then presumption should be raised that such death was caused by Covid infection only for the limited purpose of maintaining records and also following Covid protocol for the disposal of dead body,” observed the court.

Pandemic Public Grievance Committee

The court directed that in every district of the state, a three-member Pandemic Public Grievance Committee shall be formed. Chief Judicial Magistrate or a judicial officer of similar rank; Professor of a Medical College or a level-3/4 doctor of district hospital; and an administrative officer of the rank of Additional District Magistrate will be members. The court directed that this Committee shall come into existence within 48 hours of passing of this order.

Further, for rural areas, the court stated that complaints can be directly made to SDM of concerned Tehsil who shall transmit the same to Pandemic Public Grievance Committee. The court also tasked the Committee to look into news reports where the public can be seen raising their grievances regarding non-cooperation of the government and private hospital staff and so on.

Life saving machines

The Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal informed the court that sufficient number of oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks had been provided to the Community Health Centres and directives were issued but when the court questioned whether how many were delivered, the state sought time to respond. “Such details are required to be known because in rural areas by and large the facilities are not available and the villagers are dying of Covid for want of proper care,” the court observed.

Information on 5 districts

The court has sought specific information from the state with respect to 5 districts namely Bahraich, Barabanki, Bijnor, Jaunpur and Shravasti. Apart from the information mentioned below, the court has also sought number of testing done in these districts from March 31 to till date:

(1) Number of city population;

(2) Number of level-1 and level-3 hospitals with details of beds;

(3) Number of doctors, anesthetists in level-2 level-3 hospital;

(4) medical and paramedical staffs

(5) Number of BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks

(6) Number of rural population tehsil-wise,

(7) Number of community health centres,

(8) availability of beds in community health centres

(9) number of life saving gadgets like High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks, BiPAP Machines;

(10) Number of oxygen concentrators with capacity details in community health centres,

(11) Number of medical and para-medical staff.

Sun Hospital, Lucknow

Adv. Amrendra Nath Tripathi informed the court that on May 1 and May 2, there was no supply of oxygen cylinders to the hospital by the District Administration and the claims made by the administration that oxygen was supplied are false. He submitted that instead of considering the reply and verifying the facts, the District Magistrate, Lucknow rushed to lodge the first information report against the hospital to show compliance of Court’s order. He also stated that due to the FIR, the hospital management was being subjected to harassment and was not able to treat Covid patients.

The court directed District Magistrate, Lucknow to file an affidavit in response by next date and directed that no coercive measures be taken against the Hospital and its staff with respect to the FIR until the court decides the matter.

Vaccination

While the court refused to intervene in the state government’s decision to float tender in the global market for covid vaccines, it took the view that the vaccination programme ought to be expedited on a war footing. The court hoped that at least more than 2/3rd of the state’s population is inoculated in the next 2-3 months.

The court refused to accept the state’s submissions on the court’s query on how vaccination of the physically challenged will be carried out. The state had submitted that it was following centre’s policy of walk-in for 45+ age group and online registration for 18-44 age group.

The court directed the Centre to submit its plan on how it proposes to inoculate those physically challenged persons who cannot be brought to the vaccination centres and then those who cannot make online registration. The court also asked the state government to explain why it cannot adopt a policy for inoculating the physically challenged in absence of Centre’ guidelines.

“The Central Government and State Government are directed to place before this Court the programme by which they would vaccinate those illiterate labours and other villagers between the age group of 18 and 45 years if they are not able to register online for vaccination,” the court ordered.

Justice VK Srivastava’s death

The court had sought a detailed report on treatment given to Late Justice VK Srivastava, a sitting judge of the Allahabad High Court, who succumbed to Covid. Upon perusal of the documents, the court observed that it was unclear whether Remdesevir was administered since no note of the same was made in his file. Further, there was no pulmonologist at Ram Manohar Lohia Institution of Science, Lucknow where he was initially admitted. The court thus directed the State Government to constitute a Committee that shall have a Secretary level officer as its convener with a senior Pulmonologist from SGPGI, Lucknow and a Senior Advocate to be nominated by the President/ Elders Committee of Awadh Bar Association as its members to hold a fact finding into this matter. The court directed such Committee be formed within 3 days and submit a report to the court within two weeks of being formed.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Allahabad HC not satisfied with DM Meerut’s response over oxygen shortage
Uttar Pradesh O2 crisis: FIR against Lucknow hospital for putting up shortage notice
Death of Covid patients due to oxygen shortage is not less than genocide: Allahabad HC

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