A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah of the Supreme Court of India asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to consider the petition filed by advocate Astha Sharma and argued by advocate Sunil Fernandes for making available WHO approved protection kits for doctors, as they are working under tedious conditions to tackle COVID-19 pandemic
A plea was filled by a Nagpur-based doctor, Jerryl Banait in the Supreme Court of India for making available WHO approved protection kits for doctors, as they are working under tedious conditions to tackle COVID-19 pandemic.
- The petitioner contended that in the absence of adequate protective gear, doctors put themselves at the risk of being affected by the virus, warranting availability of graded protective gear to them and other welfare facilities, to aid them to combat the virus.
- The Plea stated that “As there is no specific vaccination to prevent or cure COVID-19, doctors must be in constant contact with patients, to monitor them on regular intervals, and observe their symptoms”.
- He sought a direction to the Union government to ensure availability of World Health Organisation- recommended graded protective gear, including Hazmat (Hazardous material) suits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sterile medical or nitrile gloves, starch apparels, medical masks, goggles, face shield, respirators (i e, N – 95 Respirator Mask or Triple Layer Medical Mask or equivalent), shoe covers, headcovers and coveralls or gowns to all health workers.
- He submitted that these materials should be provided to doctors, nurses, ward boys, other medical and para-medical professionals actively attending to, and treating patients suffering from COVID-19 is not just in metro cities, but also in tier – 2 tier – 3 cities.
- The petition stated that “In case, where the hospitals and health centres are not provided WHO standardized masks and gowns, medical staff mortality will exponentially increase and the situation will spiral out of control in the absence of sufficient medical assistance.”
- The petitioner also sought directives to the states to set up COVID-19 special screening centres in smaller towns and other cities and to take immediate steps to ensure effective implementation of the ‘Guidelines for Infection Prevention and Control Healthcare Facilities’ issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, through the National Centre for Disease Control, under the Directorate of General Health Services, on March 25.
- He further contended necessary steps must be taken to ensure adherence to the Guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the ‘Rational Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Coronavirus Disease 2019’ (COVID-19) on February 27, 2020.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to respond to a PIL seeking directions to the authorities to ensure availability of WHO-approved appropriate personal protective equipment for all doctors, nurses, ward boys, and other medical/para-medical professionals actively attending to and treating COVID-19 patients in India.
Without issuing a formal notice to the Government, a Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah asked it to respond to the petition filed by Nagpur-based doctor Jerryl Banait.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje