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It Is Mandatory For the Public To Follow the COVID-19 Protocols as They Are Responsible for Their Own Safety & Well Being: Manipur High Court

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Facts of the Case

Mr S. Suresh, learned ASG, presented a copy of a letter from the Department of Health and Family Services dated May 20, 2021, announcing the allocation of three (three) PSA oxygen plants to the State of Manipur, namely at JNIMS, the District Hospital, Churachandpur, Lamka; and the District Hospital, Thoubal. The State of Manipur has been allocated 354 D-Type cylinders and 1837 B-Type cylinders, increasing the total number of oxygen cylinders provided by the Government of India to 2691. Further, the issue raised by Respondent no. 4 RIMS, Imphal stating that financial support should be provided to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queries Raised & Responded

Under the National Task Force, a subgroup audit of medical oxygen was established by the Government of Manipur and its Duty Charter was established. These obligations include principally the supply and usage of medicinal oxygen and responsibility for it. Apart from oxygen supply, National Task Force issued various measures to survive in Covid crises such as the following: (i) Availability of essential drugs and medicines. (ii) Preparedness to meet present and future emergencies that may arise during the pandemic. (iii) Availability of manpower for outreach to rural areas. (iv) Availability of medical personnel Evidence-based research to enhance effective responses to the pandemic. (v) Best practices to promote knowledge about the management of the pandemic. According to the gathered information, the Audit Sub Group which is constituted by State Government has started functioning. Further, it was informed that both oxygen plants at Churachandpur and Thoubal, one of them has already started functioning and the other will start from the end of the month respectively. There is therefore a specific notification for all those hospitals in which grievance redress cells have been established without disclosure of such detail as telephone numbers/ mobile numbers of cells/persons that have to be accessible for registration of complaints

Court Analysis

The state administration is prepared, but it will be difficult for the authorities to adequately address and cope with new challenges that may arise in the future as a result of the Corona virus’s mutation, compounded by the general public’s lack of care and foolhardiness, who foolishly continue to ignore COVID-19 protocols and prescribed standard operating procedures despite the fact that they have been in place for years. The state must take effective actions in this respect, balancing and defending citizens’ fundamental rights.

Court’s Decision

The Court has decided to hear the further discussion on 2nd June 2021

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