Facts of the Case
The Petitioners wrote a letter to the Registrar of the Respondent University due to the outbreak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They highlighted the alarming situation on the JNU campus, seeking various steps to be taken to control the situation. The Petitioners were sending letters to the Registrar, The Vice-Chancellor of JNU. After receiving no response they wrote a letter to the ADM/ SDM of the concerned area for immediate intervention in light of the massive surge of COVID positive cases within the JNU campus, to set up COVID care facilities.
Arguments presented before the Court
The counsel for the Petitioners submitted that two proposals have been submitted. The faculty of the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health (CSMCH) proposed how they can assist in the setting up of the COVID Care Isolation Facility. He further submitted that if there is a need for the manufacture or generation of oxygen, the proposal for the same is also submitted.
The counsel appearing for JNU pointed out that a panel of 12 doctors is providing teleconsultations to various residents of the JNU campus. He further added that as per the status report the only centre that could be set up is a COVID Care Centre where there is no oxygen which is administered to patients, unless and until there are proper oxygenated beds etc., and doctors and paramedics available around the clock. This Centre can cater to asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and patients with mild symptoms.
The SDM submitted that he has inspected the infrastructure of the JNU campus. He informed the Court that there are guest houses that are available and they can be converted into isolation wards for the residents of the JNU campus.
Observation of the court
The Court observed that the total number of persons residing on the JNU campus is between 12000 – 15000, which includes students, staff members, faculty, and their families. The number of people contracting COVID-19 inside the JNU campus is also quite high. However, there is no covid care facility at all and the one that exists is very small and with no facilities.
Thus, in case of a sudden surge, the residents on the campus may face difficulties. It is the need of the hour to take further steps apart from what has already been taken by the Covid Task Force and the Covid Response Team.
The court directed to set up a Covid Care Centre inside the JNU. The task force can also take assistance or recommendations from the Petitioner association if required. The SDM and JNU Task Force are responsible for arranging the doctors or nurses and may coordinate with the SDM of the concerned area and also with the Delhi Government for oxygenated beds or any ICU facility. The feasibility, requirement, and necessity of COVID Health Centre with oxygenated beds in JNU may be discussed and deliberated upon by the COVID Task Force with the SDM of the concerned area and Delhi Govt.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association Through Moushumi Basu & Ors.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Through Vice-Chancellor & Anr.
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