[Coronavirus Emergency] Uttarakhand HC directs state government to install ventilators in 15 Dedicated COVID Hospitals
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[Coronavirus Emergency] Uttarakhand HC directs state government to install ventilators in 15 Dedicated COVID Hospitals

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to install one or two ventilators in 15 COVID-19 dedicated hospitals within a week.

While passing the Court, a Division Bench of Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Ravindra Maithani observed,

"We are conscious of the fact that there is definitely a shortage of ventilators as of now, yet when these hospitals had been declared as Dedicated COVID 19 Hospitals and one of the principal requirements of the Dedicated COVID 19 Hospital is that, inter alia, it must have ventilator facility, we fail to understand as to why these Dedicated COVID 19 Hospitals are not having any ventilators, as yet."

Uttarakhand High Court

However, the Court added that there may be some "practical and logistical problem" with the state in complying with this order, which the Court may not be aware. If such is the case, the state will always be at liberty to bring the same to the Court's notice for suitable correction/review, the Court clarified.

In its order, the Court also noted that the Government of India on March 28 had categorised hospitals into three namely, COVID Care Centres, Dedicated COVID Health Centres and Dedicated COVID Hospitals. In this regard, the Court explained that this order shall only pertain to Dedicated COVID hospitals.

The 15 Dedicated COVID hospitals in the state are as follows:

Uttarakhand HC hospitals names
Uttarakhand HC hospitals names

The state had further intimated the Court that six of those hospitals did not have an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). On this point, the Court opined,

"A dedicated COVID Hospital must also have an ICU".

About a week earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court had urged the state to establish three more laboratories to test patients for COVID-19.

It also directed the state to take measures to protect doctors treating Coronavirus patients at government hospitals.

During the previous hearing, the Court was informed by the Advocate General S N Babulkar that the state has enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits in store, and that government hospitals have been supplied with PPE equipment as per their needs and requirement.

During that hearing, the Court had asked AG Babulkar whether any additional measures could be incorporated in the most prominently visited hospitals to ensure that doctors who are examining patients in their OPD are properly protected.

The Court had passed both sets of directions after considering an email written by Advocate Dushyant Mainali to Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan pertaining to various issues surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown. This was later converted to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

[Read orders here]

Uttarakhand HC PPE, Labs Judgment.pdf
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Uttarakhand HC directions April 21.pdf
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