Shri. Tushar Mehta is the solicitor General for India and counsel appearing for various states. order dated 27.11.2020 passed in this proceeding suo moto cognizance of the incident which happened in Rajkot, Gujarat on 26.11.2020 resulting in the death of Covid patients in the Covid Hospital.
In the recent past, various disturbing facts surfaced through the media wherein humans were seen to be treated worse than animals. There were numerous news reports which highlighted the mishandling of dead bodies of COVID-19 patients and ill-treatment of other patients suffering or suspected to be suffering from COVID-19.
Union of India on 30.11.2020 and 11.12.2020. have filled an Affidavit issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The Government of India issued advisory to all the States to prevent the recurrence of a fire incident in Covid Hospitals and Nursing Homes. ‘No Objection Certificate’, report regarding inspection and re-inspection of Hospitals and Nursing Homes has been called up by the Union of India which resulted in taking measures by other states to conduct an inspection and send detailed reports.
The Union of India has directed the States and Union Territories to update their respective local building bye-laws/fire services synchronizing them in line with “Model Bill on maintenance of fire and emergency service, 2019”, circulated by Ministry of Home Affairs on 16.09.2019.
The state of Gujarat filed a separate affidavit with the details of inspection undertaken and audit of few dedicated Covid hospitals this resulted in. All states and unions should appoint a nodal officer for fire safety and will be responsible for ensuring the compliance of all fire safety measures.
Justice D.A. Mehta to undertake inquiry about the fire in Shrey Hospital, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, in addition to inquiry inquiry the incident of fire in Uday Shivanand Hospital, Rajkot. The State to extend all cooperation to the Enquiry Commission so that the Enquiry report be submitted at an early date and the appropriate remedial action is taken by the State.
Article 21 of the Constitution of India states Right to health is a fundamental right Therefore, it is the duty upon the State to make provisions for affordable treatment and more and more provisions in the hospitals.
The Supreme Court, however, observed that the affidavits by the above parties appear to be general statements, and that they lack any mechanism for follow up of the claims made.
The Union of India in its affidavit has talked about visitation of various hospitals in Delhi to appraise the situation. The Court stated that one visitation would not be enough to address the issues, rather, a constant monitoring, supervision and management is necessary.
- With regards to formation of Expert Team and their function.
- With regards to CCTV installation and screening of footage.
- With regards to attendants of COVID-19 patients.
- With regards to discharge policy and reasonable rates of tests etc. for COVID-19 patients.