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The Allahabad High Court on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to respond on a PIL raising grievance over hospitals being directed to restrict their treatment of persons suffering from ailments or diseases other than COVID-19 (All India People Front vs. State of UP).
On March 23 and May 31, the State had issued notifications restricting the treatment of non COVID-19 patients in Government and private hospitals, as well as nursing homes in Uttar Pradesh, except in cases of emergency.
On Monday, the Bench of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Yashwant Varma directed Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal to seek instructions from the State on the present state of affairs and about the viability of continuing with such restrictions.
Further, the Court also urged the State to consider whether these restrictions may be revisited, before adjourning the matter to June 18.
Appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Pranjal Shukla argued, inter alia, that the State Government was not following guidelines set by the Union Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation.
He went on to suggest that COVID-19 patients showing mild symptoms should preferably be quaratined at home, while pointing out that a major reason why COVID-19 patients were dying was because of the lack of availability of beds in hospitals.
The PIL petition highlights that since the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have its effect for a long time, it is necessary to have a separate set up or infrastructure to treat cases of COVID-19.
In the meanwhile, it is urged that non-COVID-19 cases should be treated by hospitals in the State as they used to be before the pandemic hit. The prayers made by the petitioner include the following:
Set aside Government notifications issued in March and May that directed Government and private hospitals to restrict treatment of non-COVID patients;
Direct the authorities to ensure that hospitals treat patients suffering from ailments or diseases, whether or not they are suffering from COVID-19;
Direct the authorities to create a separate set up/ infrastructure for the treatment of COVID-19 patient.
The PIL was filed in the wake of a pregnant woman's death recently in Noida after 8 hospitals denied her admission. The PIL before the High Court also urges for a probe into the same.