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The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to consider providing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to all medical and paramedic workers, including those working in non-COVID treatment areas.
The direction was passed after Bench of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and BR Gavai found substance in an application that prayed for ensuring PPE kits for all medical and paramedic workers, including those not treating COVID-19 patients.
The application pointed out that there was a rise in the number of infections from asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 and, therefore, the provision of PPE kits should also be extended to those health professionals not directly dealing with COVID-19 patients.
The Court has directed the Centre to consider this prayer and make necessary suggestions in the "Rational Use of Personal Protective Equipment" guidelines.
The Court added that the directions passed by the Court earlier this month with respect to protection of doctors and medical and health workers should be continued.
In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat had passed a slew of directions for the protection of doctors while observing that the pandemic was akin to a national calamity.
The government had told the Court that all necessary and possible steps were being taken by the authorities for the protection these "corona warriors" and had assured that the government will be "walking the extra mile" for the safety of health workers and doctors.
The Court had passed directions directing the concerned authorities to ensure availability of personal protective kits for the medical and health professionals and workers, for adequate Police protection to these professionals in light of reports of attacks being carried out against them as well as action against those who obstruct doctors from performing their duties.
The Court had also directed the government to explore alternatives to resolve the issues being faces amid the pandemic, including enabling and augmenting the domestic production of protective clothing and gear for medical professionals.
Read the Order: