High Court of Bombay at Goa
High Court of Bombay at Goa
Litigation News

[Coronavirus] Bombay HC at Goa expresses satisfaction with Goa's response on preparedness, disposes of plea by law graduates

The letter petition filed by two law graduates, which was converted into a PIL, had raised concern over the adequacy of medical facilities in the State to face and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shruti Mahajan

The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday said it was satisfied with the response filed by the State of Goa as regards the medical preparedness of the State to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while disposing of a letter petition filed by two law graduates.

On Monday, the Single Judge Bench of Justice MS Sonak took on record the response filed by the State of Goa as regards the steps taken by the State to combat the coronavirus.

 Justice MS Sonak
Justice MS Sonak

The State had been directed to file its response after the High Court converted a letter petition into a PIL which raised concern over the adequacy of medical facilities in the State to face and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Court was informed that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) had been evolved by the State, which has been sent to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for approval.

The State's affidavit also acknowledged the importance of providing personal protection equipment (PPE) to doctors and medical professionals, while submitting that steps are being taken to provide the same, the Court noted. It also observed that,

"The response also speaks of impart of necessary training to the doctors and other staff at the hospital. He (signing authority of the affidavit) stated that all doctors and staff have been provided with chemo prophylaxis with over 17,000 tablets hydroxylchloroquine as per the ICMR guidelines to protect them from developing any serious COVID complications."

The response filed by the State further identified the hospital designated for isolation facilities. It was also submitted that all steps are being taken to equip the 100-bedded medical facility with all other necessary facilities required.

Moreover, the State had submitted a list of government hospitals in the State where isolation facilities are being provided for. Five locations each were identified in North and South Goa for quarantine facilities. Certain private hospitals have also been identified for providing isolation facilities.

The State also apprised the Court of the number of available ventilators in the State and further that orders have been placed for the procurement of 200 more ventilators. The Court opined that,

"There is no reason to even doubt that the State will not take all efforts to procure these additional ventilators at the earliest."
Bombay High Court at Goa

On the issue of testing for COVID-19, it was informed that the samples were being sent to Pune or Mumbai. A team of doctors from the State were also sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for training and will now be available for conducting tests in Goa, it was further submitted. The response by the State also states that while 400 testing kits are available, procurement of more kits is underway.

Taking the submissions made by the State on record, the Court said that it appears that the State government is alive to its responsibility.

"... from the material placed before this Court, it is apparent that the State and its authorities are alive to their responsibilities and making efforts to combat this pandemic. The response also speaks about the orders placed or steps taken to procure additional equipment facilities. Again, there is no doubt to suppose that these matters will not be pursued with urgency."
Bombay High Court at Goa

The Court thus disposed of the petition as well as the intervention applications filed in the matter, while granting liberty to the intervenors to submit their recommendations to the Secretary (Health).

Read the Order:

Jay MAthew vs State of Goa - 30.03.2020.pdf
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