Friday, March 24, 2023

Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on plea for door-to-door Covid vaccination for the disabled

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The Supreme Court has issued notice in the plea seeking ease of access for vaccination and facility of door-to-door vaccination for persons with disabilities.

The bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice B.V. Nagarathna while issuing notice sought response from the Centre and indulgence of the Solicitor General in regards to the steps being taken for the same.

The petitioner’s counsel, Pankaj Sinha, stated that there are two reports; one from Centre for Disease Control and Prevention,  which is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States, stating that few categories of persons with disability are at higher risk of contracting the virus. The second report is from WHO seconds the finding that people with disabilities are at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19.

Advocate Sinha though requested the bench to issue notice to all the states, but the bench stated that if they issue notice to the states it will take 2 months to seek their reply. The bench thus only issued notice to Centre.

The petitioner is a disability rights organization active in various works in interest of persons with disabilities. The petitioner organisation has been continuously working to provide ration, food packages, medicines and other basic amenities to persons with disabilities across rural and urban areas of India to help them survive Covid-19 crisis.

Also Read: Supreme Court seeks response from Centre, national medical council in PIL against alleged NEET SS 2021 alteration

The petition, filed by AOR Shashank Singh, also seeks directions to make the CoWIN web portal and mobile app fully accessible to persons with disabilities since scheduling appointments at a particular vaccination centre is a highly technical process and these persons are facing difficulties.

The petition also seeks a dedicated helpline number as an alternative for COWIN portal. The petition further seeks directions to make all vaccination centres fully accessible for persons with disabilities as per the accessibility standards mandated under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 along with sensitized manpower.

The matter will now be listed after 2 weeks.


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