Tripura High Court in WP(C)(PIL) No.09 of 2020 assessed the progress of COVID handling in the State to provide pertinent orders and instructions as required.
A suo moto PIL was instituted to monitor the situation of coronavirus in the State. The PIL originated from a few newspaper reports that suggested shortcomings in the system. The purpose of the proceeding was to focus on improving the COVID handling in the State and to ensure public trust in the health dispensation system. The government had not considered this case adversarial and had provided the Court with adequate details from time to time as ordered and had also accepted the suggestions of the Court. On perusal of the COVID data, a steady drop in COVID positive cases had been noticed, however, a steady vigil and precaution were to be exercised by the administration till a permanent solution was found by the medical fraternity. The Court is monitoring further developments in COVID management.
Amicus Curiae Submissions
The State administration had issued directives and guidelines as Durga Pooja at public places. However, in the affidavit submitted by the Government on 6.10.2020, certain areas on which the Central team had made recommendations had not been covered. Measures were not adequate to ensure that proper protective gears were worn by the patients and also the staff attending the patients in several hospitals.
Court’s Observations and Conclusion
The Court observed that there had been fair progress and appropriate actions taken by the government such as following the prescribed waste disposal guidelines and the creation of dedicated donning and doffing areas. In the light of upcoming Durga Pooja, there needed to be a campaign of awareness amongst the pooja organizers as well as people. Press was expected to play a positive role and be a catalyst in spreading the message of taking all necessary precautions and government guidelines. Government is requested to create a dedicated email address where complaints relating to COVID handling at any government hospitals or centre and the like complaints could be dealt with. This would act as a central system to track and redress complaints or shortcomings.
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