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Bombay High Court Addresses Oxygen Shortage in Goa

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On Wednesday, a bench of Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni questioned that concerning the people who could not come out of their houses, who cannot even be brought down, should they not get the vaccine just because they cannot be brought out.

The COURT was hearing a plea seeking direction for the Centre and State governments along with the BMC to start door-to-door vaccination for people above the age of 75 years who are bed-ridden or specially-abled.

Arguments before the Court

The government lawyers put forth that the vaccination camps required the people to sit under 30-minute observation after getting vaccinated to check for ‘Adverse Events Following Immunization ‘ (AEFI). The bench in return asked how many such emergency cases had been reported after taking the vaccine. 

The Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh, informed the COURT that an expert committee had been appointed for examining the proposal of door-to-door vaccination for elderly and disabled citizens. One of the proposals given by the committee is the Community-based Outreach Session (COS) to provide COVID-19 vaccines to a defined population. He also said that to provide vaccination to the elderly living around COS both in urban and rural areas, transport arrangements can be made to facilitate their travel to the session site.

Observations by the Court

The Bench remained unsatisfied with the efforts and arguments presented by Mr Singh. 

“They may be experts in the field, but they seem to have zero knowledge of the ground reality,” the Court commented on the strategy.

The Court called the strategy the exact opposite of door-to-door vaccination. It further stated that these submissions failed to spell the reasons for not being able to have a door-to-door vaccination system.

The Court also asked the Central Government, why it could not provide a policy, permitting a door-to-door vaccination system. 

“With proper consideration of the risks, if they are willing to do it, then why not let them do it?” Court enquired.

BMC had earlier submitted an SOP targeting citizens in old age homes that prescribed vaccination of people without identity cards through CoWIN, however, it did not include bed-ridden citizens, and citizens who could not approach the NGOs. The Court however decided to wait for the results of such SOP before making any observations.

Court’s Orders

The Court ordered the BMC to submit their response to the door-to-door strategy at the next hearing scheduled for Thursday. 

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