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Covid Care Centers Should Follow All Guidelines Issued by Government of India in Tea Plantations and Tea Estates: Gauhati High Court

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Facts of the Case

The Assam tea gardens are around 800 and the tea estates approximately 434. These tea gardens have been placed before this Court as to the situation of employees. The petitioner’s issue is that the Guidelines of the Indian government for the treatment of COVID are not followed in these Tea Gardens and also that the Plantations Labour Act (1951), and the Regulations therefore formed are not followed, since they treat only patients who have no or fewer symptoms at the COVID treatment centres. The development of a Pos- Covid Clinic for treating individuals was raised before this Court as another problem.

Arguments by Petitioner

Learned Counsel stated that official guidelines issued by the Government of India have not taken seriously and also aren’t being followed as per the norms. Further, he stated that the existing Covid Care Centers were only treating patients who have mild symptoms or do not have any symptoms. Further, Counsel stated that the people need guidance on post-Covid recovery. Petitioner submitted arguments for the creation of a Post-Covid Clinic for those who have suffered from Covid.

Arguments by Respondents

Learned Counsel Mr D. Saikia submitted that vaccination begun in 208 tea gardens, 28,000 of which were vaccinated and their second dosage was obtained in the 2000 tea gardens. Further argued the Government is aware of the safety of employees in these tea gardens and 800 Tea Gardens. According to the analyzed numbers Mr D. Saikia suggested that the situation can not be as bad as it has been.

Court’s Analysis and Decision

The Learned Court briefly observed that with regard to the employment of mobile medical units (MMU) in these Tea Gardens, the Government has absolutely no doubt, because the government has the funds, they must be used, unless previously done, for tests and for other purposes in the Tea Gardens. Further, it was noticed that if there were various tests done, then the Government had the responsibility to show the kind of test which were being done.

The Court decided to hear the matter further on 31st May 2021.

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