(Representative image)
(Representative image)

HC asks Himachal govt to ramp up facilities to tackle Covid-19

The orders were passed by a division bench comprising justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Jyotsna Rewal Dua on a petition taken up by the court Suo Moto. The court noted that it considers these directions absolutely necessary.
By Gaurav Bisht | Hindustan Times, Shimla, Shimla
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2020 06:03 PM IST

The Himachal Pradesh high court on Thursday directed the state government to ramp up facilities at Covid-19 hospitals and manpower hired on temporary or outsourced basis through authorised service providers should be appointed by December 5.

The orders were passed by a division bench comprising justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Jyotsna Rewal Dua on a petition taken up by the court Suo Moto. The court noted that it considers these directions absolutely necessary.

The court directed the state government to ensure that senior doctors in all notified Covid hospitals visit the ward on regular basis. The government shall also consider the feasibility of having liquid oxygen tankers stationed at all notified Covid hospitals, it said. The court also directed that the manpower hired on temporary or outsourced basis will be appointed by December 5 and testing will also be ramped up by adopting approved measures by associating private laboratories or their technicians, or both.

The court said sample collecting authorities should have all the contact details of persons whose samples have been taken and report of the same will be supplied in a time-bound manner, not beyond 48 hours. A dedicated helpline in all Covid hospitals be notified so that the family members, near and dear ones of the patients can get in touch to know about his/her wellbeing.

“Such patients, who are willing to afford, be permitted to have trained nursing attendant at their own costs as this would be a long way to reduce the burden on the hospital staff,” the bench stated. The court further directed that the wrapping up of bodies of those Covid patients, who succumb to the disease, shall not be done in the ward.

“The state may also consider making Covid test mandatory for people entering the state from the outside,” the court directed. The state would consider providing additional incentives to those deployed in Covid-19 duties including the outsourced workers, more particularly, Class-III and IV, who are working in the Covid wards.

“The patients undergoing treatment at home will be contacted by dedicated medical personnel at least twice a day over his/her telephone so as to monitor the treatment at home and medicine kits provided to them are of good quality,” the court stated. It also directed the state to consider staggered office time to help reduce overcrowding in buses.

The court said all those involved in Covid duties irrespective of their rank and files are restrained from going on strike/dharna. In case, any one of them have any difficulty, then they are at liberty to approach this court individually or through the learned Amicus Curiae for redressal, directed the court. They may be terminated or service provider company will be blacklisted. They will be prosecuted for contempt of court.

The court directed that the six ambulances, which are fitted with ventilator, shall be immediately put to use. It also sought the secretary (health) to file a point-wise response to the suggestions and status of make-shift hospitals in open court on the next date of hearing on December 10.

Key directions:

Asked to consider feasibility of liquid oxygen in all dedicated Covid hospitals.

Manpower hired temporarily be appointed by December 5.

Dedicated helpline in all Covid hospitals so that family members can enquire about the health of their kin.

Staff on Covid duty restrained from going on strike.

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