HC: Shift vaccine centres from hospitals to avoid crowding
Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to remove the Covid-19 vaccination centres from hospitals and shift them to other locations to prevent crowding and spread of the infection
Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to remove the Covid-19 vaccination centres from hospitals and shift them to other locations to prevent crowding and spread of the infection.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made these observations while hearing in the suo motu case for the court to monitor preparedness of Covid-19 second wave in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. “In order to reduce the fear, stress and crowding among the people, we are asking to shift the vaccination centres from the hospital and set up at other places of public convenience,” said the bench adding that special steps to vaccinate people with disabilities should be considered.
The government submitted a status report that Tamil Nadu is experiencing a shortage in vaccines. The state has received a total of 76.99 lakh vaccine doses to be used for those above 45 years of age out of which 65.88 lakh doses has been utilised. For the age group of 18-44, the Centre allocated 13.85 lakh doses for which the state is permitted to place orders and an advance of payment has been made. 5.16 lakh doses have come in but the remaining 8.68 lakh doses are yet to be received. The state has more than 3,000 vaccination sites. The court had asked if Tamil Nadu, like other states, plans to issue a global tender. Later in the day, the government announced that it will procure vaccines from international markets due to insufficiency.
The state’s newly appointed Advocate General (AG) R Shunmughasundaram also submitted that 250,000 vials of Remdesivir have been received. The minimum requirement is 20,000 vials per day, however, the allocation is only 7,000 vials per day. He added that measures are also being adopted to increase the oxygen supply and other drugs like Remdesivir.
During the hearing, the Additional Solicitor General R Sankaranarayanan submitted that the Central government has increased the allocation of oxygen to the state from 419 tonnes a day to 519 tonnes a day.
However, the bench pointed out the state’s concern that 800 MT of oxygen would be required on a daily basis soon given the rising number of active cases. In the earlier two hearings the court had asked the state to consider a plan B like requesting DRDO to set up an oxygen facility like in New Delhi to which the ASG on Wednesday informed that it was done by request sent to the PM Cares. The bench asked the AG to make a similar approach.
The case was adjourned to Thursday for the central and state to file their submissions.