The Tripura High Court on September 18, 2020 has monitored the situation and give suggestions to the State Government which is in the Court's opinion "would enable the administration to handle the coronavirus care better".
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra has put forth some suggestions and observations after the affidavit dated September 17, 2020, filed by Dr. Subhasish Debarma, Director to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Tripura in response to the Court's order on September 11, 2020.
Suggestions /Directions /Observations of the Court
On the issue of wearing a face mask and social distancing
According to the Central team who visited the State recently the reasons for deaths due to the diseases were attributed to the three factors i) Not using mask properly ii) Not maintaining social distance iii) Late admission in the hospitals.
The court said that " When the experts in this field put so much stress on the proper use of face masks in order to reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus, we still find that a large number of people move about in public places either without mask or without properly wearing the masks, thereby putting themselves as well as other to grave risks".
Further, the court asked the State Government to give a detail about the amount of fine collected for breach of the directive of wearing a mask in public places and the number of cases in which such fine has been imposed.
The Court also asked the government to ensure that this rule is enforced to the maximum possible extent and also maintaining social distancing in a public place is equally important.
The court also highlighted "The State Government list the efforts being made to enforce this requirement it may be a good idea to increase the awareness and tractors use of enforcement of this requirement of maintaining social distance."
On the issue of continuous communication from the hospital administration to the relative of the patient
In this regard, the Court opined, "it is important for the members of the family of the patient to be assured that their relative who is admitted in the hospital is being well looked after and his overall health issues are being properly addressed even if these things are being done it is important that the same is communicated periodically to the relatives of the patient."
Moreover, Court suggested that the administration for setting up a Special Enquiry Cell at AGMC hospital from where information will be available all the time and the information on the health condition of the entire admitted patient is centralized.
Other suggestions directions observation of the court
- The court asked the government to make arrangements for the engagement for lab technicians in every district and the breakup of engagement of such lab technician district wise shall be given to the Court.
- The State where asked to provide the guidelines for the home quarantine, what are the conditions under which it is permitted, and how it is enforced. it was also asked by the state that how much patient who has been home quarantine and time is facilitated with medical support in the form of testing and they have been given medicines and medical guidance whenever needed.
- From affidavit it is clear that AGMC and GBP hospital, Agartala is the only dedicated COVID hospital in the State, and on September 7, 2020, a number of the patient admitted was higher than the beds available for the treatment of the virus. The data of the admitted number of patients and available beds as on 7th September as well as currently has to furnish in the Court.
- The Court asked about the number of ventilators available at present in AGMC and GBP hospital, Agartala. When the patient is shifted from elsewhere to AGMC and GBP hospital it will be done through the ambulance having full equipment with a continuous supply of oxygen so the State has to disclose that how many of such fully-equipped units are available.
- The court also observed the efforts should be made to negotiate with the rate of the private hospital so that the relative of patients are not forced to pay the excess amount or unreasonable amount.
- Further in the effect if it is also said to provide the number of testing done every day in the last one week and also the positivity rate who were tested and the current recovery rate in the State.
- The Court also asked the State to give a copy of reports which has been submitted by the Central Medical Team who recently visited the State.
- The Court advice the State Administration to talk to the medical and paramedical staff since their input is most important in fighting with the COVID situation.
Lastly, the Court takes note of all the concerns of the learned Advocate General and says that State is dealing with this pandemics in a large scale and it is very important for all to show concern and maturity in dealing with the situation which alone can help us to tackle and overcome the crisis.