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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.
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.
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,
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.
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: