Apex court raps Centre, States for maltreatment to Covid patients
The Supreme Court on Friday said the state of affairs in Delhi hospitals was “horrific” with regard to disposal of the bodies of Covid-19 and sought responses from the Centre and different States on its plea taking suo motu cognisance on the treatment given to patients and the handling of the bodies.
The court said hospitals are not showing due care to the bodies and not even informing family members about deaths, as a result, they are unable to attend the last rites.
“Hospitals aren’t giving due care and concern to the dead bodies. Patients’ families aren’t even informed about deaths. Families haven’t been able to attend the last rites too in some cases. How are dead bodies being treated?” the court asked during the hearing. “It is a horrendous situation. Worse than animals, people are being treated,” the court said.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah also issued notices to the Centre, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. “The situation in Delhi is horrendous, horrific and pathetic,” the bench said during the hearing.
The judges went on to add that Government hospitals in Delhi are not properly dealing with bodies of deceased Covid-19 victims, adding that patients’ families have not been informed about deaths on some occasions.
It also asked the Government why some patients were not getting admission in hospitals despite the Government app showing the availability of beds.
“Reports also show that patients are not able to get admitted to the hospital whereas data shows a large number of beds remain vacant. The State is not only duty-bound to provide beds but also adequate infrastructure, manpower, and staff to attend to the patients,” the SC bench said.
The top court further slammed the Delhi Government citing media reports which have shown the “pathetic” condition of patients.
“Very sorry state of affairs in Delhi and its hospitals. There is no adherence to the MHA guidelines,” SC said.
Not just Delhi but the SC also pulled up Maharashtra, Bengal and Tamil Nadu over the condition of Government hospitals in their States.
The three-judge bench said the matter will be again heard on June 17.
Meanwhile, after earning a Supreme Court rap on its knuckles for its alleged mismanagement of corona pandemic, the Bengal Government on Friday faced flak from the principal Opposition parties which accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of bringing back “medieval barbarity” in its style of governance.
Hours after the Apex Court sought clarifications from the State on issues related to haphazard handling of the corona cases, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said only a judicial slap can make the State Government work. “It has become the habit of the Mamata Banerjee Government to receive slaps from the court without which it would not function the way it should,” Ghosh said.
He went on to add that from the very beginning the State Government has been hiding the number of deaths and suppressing corona related facts which only complicated the problem.
“Initially, they would test adequately to keep the infection figures down. Then they started collecting samples but delayed their examinations. Patients are made to wait for days before results are made available … by when either they are dead or they have gone back home,” he said.
Referring to the dead bodies being “subjected to utmost humiliation” when they were pulled by hooks and “stuffed like dead cattle inside municipal vans” for stealthy disposal he said, “like the CPI(M) stole corpses to cloak its crime at Nandigram, the TMC is stealing dead bodies to hide corona.”
Saturday, 13 June 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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