Supreme Court of India took up a public interest litigation (PIL) last month on it’s own motion (Suo Motu) citing the pitiful condition of COVID-19 patients who are being treated as per ICMR guidelines with little or no accountability. The Apex Court made scathing criticism of the present situation and issued notices to the central government as well as to all state health secretaries with stringent directions including:
i) That state health secretaries must constitute an expert Committee of doctors and other experts for supervision of all government and private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
ii) That “Chief Secretary of each State shall ensure that such Committees are immediately constituted and start their work within a period of seven days”.
iii) Chief health secretary shall take steps to install CCTV cameras in the ward in all COVID-19 hospitals to facilitate monitoring of clinical management of the patients.
iv) All COVID-dedicated hospitals “shall permit one willing attendant of the patient in the hospital premise who can remain in an area earmarked by the hospital”.
PBT has sent appeals to every state health departments across India demanding immediate implementation of the Apex Court’s directions with three specific questions:
A) When did the State government constitute the expert COVID-19 Committee as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court?
B) Who are the members of the said COVID-19 Committee?
C) More than three weeks have passed since the Hon’ble Apex Court was pleased to pass the said Order. How many inspection reports have been filed by the said Committee so far? Please provide us with copies of the said report(s) for validation by independent medical experts.
PBT move new PIL if the state governments remain silent and do not implement all the specific recommendations made by the Hon’ble Apex Court.