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Supreme Court to resume hearing on suo motu case of proper treatment of COVID 19 patients and dignified handling of dead bodies on Monday

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court on Monday will continue its hearing in the suo motu case for proper treatment of COVID 19 patients and dignified handling of dead bodies in the hospitals. (In RE: The Proper Treatment of COVID19 Patients and Dignified Handling of Dead Bodies in the Hospitals Etc.)

On the previous hearing which was held on July 27 the court took note of the fact that despite its clear directions which were issued on June 19, none of the States/UTs had filed their compliance report.

The three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M. R. Shaht had said: “An affidavit has been filed on behalf of the Union of India, which does not give the details of compliance of the directions except that orders have been issued to comply with the directions. Mere direction to comply with the directions is not enough. The steps taken towards compliance of the directions have to be brought on the record. The State Governments / UTs have not filed affidavits giving details of compliance of various directions issued by this court on June 19. We are of the view that the Chief Secretaries of the States have to take steps to ensure that directions issued by this court in order dated June 19, are complied with. An appropriate compliance report to be filed.”

The Court had given two weeks time to States and UTs to file their compliance report with regards to the eleven directions passed by it.

In its June 19, order the Supreme Court had passed slew of directions to the States/UTs with the object of continuous supervision and monitoring of government hospitals, COVID dedicated hospitals and other hospitals taking care of COVID management. The court had issued the following directions:

“With the object of continuous supervision and monitoring of government hospitals, COVID dedicated hospitals and other hospitals taking care of COVID management issue following directions Nos.(I) to (IV):-

(I) The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Union of India, shall constitute Expert Committees consisting of:

a) Senior Doctors from Central Government hospitals in Delhi,

b) Doctors from GNCTD hospitals or other hospitals of Delhi Government,

c) Doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences,

d) Responsible officer from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

(II) The Expert Committee shall inspect, supervise and issue necessary directions to all Government hospitals, Covid hospitals and other hospitals in NCT of Delhi taking care of Covid patients; The Expert Committees shall ensure that at least one visit in each hospital be done weekly.

(III) The above team, may in addition to normal inspection shall also conduct surprise visits to assess the preparedness of the hospitals. The expert team as indicated above after visiting may issue necessary instructions for improvement to the hospital concerned and also forward its report to the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Union of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

(IV) We further direct that all States shall constitute an expert team of doctors and other experts for inspection, supervision and guidance of government hospitals and other hospitals dedicated to Covid-19 in each State who may inspect, supervise the hospitals in the State and issue necessary directions for the improvement to the concerned hospital and report to the government. Chief Secretary of each State shall ensure that such committees are immediately constituted and start their works within a period of seven days.

(V) Footage from the CCTV cameras installed in the hospitals shall be made available by the hospitals in NCT of Delhi to the inspecting/supervising expert team or to any other authority or body as per directions of the Union of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for screening the footage and issuing necessary directions thereon. Government hospitals and hospitals in other states have also been directed to install CCTV cameras.

(VI) In Government hospitals of GNCT, Delhi which are COVID dedicated hospitals, where CCTV cameras have not been installed, steps shall be taken to install CCTV Cameras in the wards.

(VII) The Chief Secretaries of other States shall also take steps regarding installation of CCTV Cameras in Covid dedicated hospitals where Covid patients are taking treatment to facilitate the management of such patients and for the screening of the footage by designated authorities or bodies so that remedial action may be suggested and ensured.

(VIII) All Covid-19 dedicated hospitals shall permit one willing attendant of the patient in the hospital premise, who can remain in an area earmarked by the hospital.

(IX) All Covid-19 dedicated hospitals shall create a helpdesk accessible physically as well as by telephone from where well being of patients admitted in the hospitals can be enquired.

(X) The Union of India, Ministry of Home Affairs has been directed to issue appropriate directions to all States/Union Territories to uniformly follow the revised discharge policy  dated May 8, with regard to discharge of different categories of patients as categorised in the revised discharge policy.

(XI) The Union of India has been directed to issue appropriate directions to all the States/Union Territories with regard to prescribing reasonable rates of various Covid-19 related facilities/test etc., which need to be uniformly followed by all concerned.

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