HC tells Uttarakhand to provide funds village heads to manage quarantine centres
Petitioners had alleged that condition of Covid-19 quarantine centres in four districts was deplorable.Updated: Jun 02, 2020 18:14 IST
The Uttarakhand high court on Tuesday directed the state government to provide funds to village heads (gram pradhans) so that the conditions at quarantine centres of four districts with a high prevalence of Covid-19 can be improved.
The HC’s directions came while responding to a bunch of PILs filed by Dushyant Mainali, Rajendra Arya and Sachdanand Dabral related to various issues regarding the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic in the state
“The court has directed the state government to provide funds to gram pradhans managing quarantine centres in villages through district magistrates. The DMs will coordinate with them and provide them funds on the requirement basis”, said Mainali, a Nainital-based advocate.
Advocate Shiv Bhatt, counsel of Sachdanand Dabral had said on May 27 that the HC had sought a report on the condition of quarantine centres in four districts - Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun - with a high Covid-19 numbers after a PIL alleged they were in pathetic condition and lacked basic facilities.
The court had directed secretaries of the District Legal Services Authorities of Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun to visit quarantine centers and submit a report to the court
Mainali, petitioner in one of the PILs, said the District Legal Services Authorities of these four districts submitted their report to the HC, pointing out the pathetic condition and lack of basic facilities in quarantine centres in rural areas of these districts. The report highlighted poor conditions of sanitation, toilet facilities and food provided in the quarantine centres, he said.
Mainali said the HC also directed the state government that it should address the findings of the report submitted by the District Legal Services Authorities and come up with suggestions. “For this, the secretary health department has been asked to submit a report within two weeks”, he said.
On earlier directions of the HC regarding conducting rapid tests, Mainali said the state government apprised the court that 11,000 rapid test kits have been procured by it and so far 2,100 rapid tests have been conducted.
“The HC directed the state government to submit state-wide details regarding rapid test kits distributed and tests conducted across the state within two weeks”, he said.
On May 20, the HC had directed the state government to procure rapid test kits immediately and start testing on an experimental basis at the border points. It had said “although rapid antibody test has not been approved by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which is the nodal agency spearheading the fight against Cocid-19 pandemic in the country) for diagnostic purposes, but since the result of this test is available in much less time, such tests can be used for surveillance purposes alone. At least it would be a better surveillance than the surveillance by thermal screening!”