Supreme Court Bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Ravindra Bhat, who heard the PIL through Video Conferencing, gave the directions to petitioners Advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi, Jerryl Banait and others seeking a direction to the Central Govt., Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) to Health Workers treating Covid-19 patients in India.
The petitioners sought a direction to ensure availability of WHO recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sterile medical or nitrile gloves, starch apparels, medical masks, goggles, face shield, respirators, shoe covers, head covers and gowns to all health workers.
Key Highlights of Judgment
- The two judges, who heard the matter on video conferencing, said ‘private hospitals including laboratories have an important role to play in containing the scale of pandemic by extending philanthropic services in the hour of national crisis’
- Bench said “The government shall explore all alternatives including enabling and augmenting domestic production of protective clothing and gear to medical professional. This includes exploring of alternative modes of production of such clothing (masks, suits, caps, gloves etc.) and permitting movement of raw materials”
- On 01st April 2020, Court sought a response from the Centre on a plea filed by Jerryl Banait for making available WHO Approved Protection kits for Doctors, as they are working under horrible conditions to tackle Covid-19 pandemic. Bench said “The doctors and the medical staff who are the first line of defence of the country to combat with this pandemic have to be protected by providing Personal Protective Equipments as recommended by WHO”
- Bench said Doctors and Healthcare professionals are “warriors” in the fight against Corona virus and have to be protected
- The Apex Court also directed to provide the necessary police security to the doctors and medical staff in hospitals and places where patients who have been diagnosed Covid-19
- Bench said “The State shall also take necessary action against those persons who obstruct and commit any offence in respect to performance of duties by Doctors, medical staff and other Government Officials deputed to contain Covid-19”
- Further, the Court directed the government to explore alternative possibilities for domestic production of protective clothing and gear to medical professionals
A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to provide all protective gears personal protection equipment (PPE) to the doctors and other health workers, attending the patients of Coronavirus.
Bench issued following interim directions to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
- Medical Tests relating to Covid-19 should be conducted in Approved Government Laboratories or Private Laboratories with free of cost. The Central Government and Authorities shall issue necessary direction in this regard immediately.
- Medical Tests relating to Covid-19 must be carried out in NABL Accredited Labs or any agencies Approved by WHO or ICMR“
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje