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The Kerala High Court today directed the Union Government and Kerala State Government to take instructions on pleas made to bring back COVID-19 affected Malayali nurses from other States, considering their poor health and the working conditions in these States.
In this regard, a Division Bench comprising of Justices Devan Ramachandran and TR Ravi held,
"In view of the urgency raised by petitioner, we hereby direct the respondents to look into this matter immediately as the plight of the nurses in Delhi, West Bengal and Maharashtra is extremely critical."
Kerala High Court
When the matter came up today, the Bench orally observed that the plea "requires closer scrutiny," while recording that the respective counsel have taken notice for the Government authorities. The case has now been posted to be taken up next on April 28.
A petition had been moved on this issue by the United Nurses Association praying that the State of Kerala be directed to bring back COVID-19 affected Malayali nurses from other States to Kerala, given that the conditions in other States are deteriorating by the day.
In particular, the Association had raised concern that Malayali nurses in other States such as Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal are working in alarmingly dangerous enivronments.
Further, it is alleged that many nurses are not being tested or treated expeditiously even if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. In this regard, the Association says that it has spoken to a number of nurses presently in these States.
"The Nurses are working in alarmingly dangerous environments which give them exposure to the COVID 19 Virus. Even when nurses are showing symptoms, tests are not prescribed by the doctors to force them to work. Even days or weeks after a test is prescribed, the same is not done. After being tested positive also, the nurses are denied basic facilities like food, quarantine and medical care", the petition reads.