The Supreme Court on Friday said the COVID- 19 patients are treated “worse than animals” and termed the state of affairs as “horrendous, horrific and pathetic situation” in the national capital hospitals where the dead bodies are stacked beside the corona patients. Apart from Delhi, the situation in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal is also fierce. The SC seeks an answer from all the four states and central government as it took a notice of the reports on its own over improper handling of the COVID- 19 patients and disposal of the dead bodies in the country.
Hospitals are not taking due care in keeping the bodies and not even taking the responsibility of informing the family members about deaths, as a result, the families are not able to perform the last rites, the court said. A bench of justice including Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah issued notices to Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court slamming the AAP government said they are not following the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry and thus the bench of justice directed the chief secretaries of the state to take stock of the patient management system and submit a status report regarding hospital staff and patient care.
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Patients are running from one place to another to get admitted while large numbers of beds are vacant. According to some reports, a government hospital in Delhi had bodies in the lobby and waiting area. Inside the ward, most beds are unoccupied. In one case one body was found in the garbage. People are dying and nobody is there even to attend them. The SC asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to explain why there is a fall in coronavirus testing in Delhi. Why the testing has gone from 7,000 to 5,000 where other places like Chennai and Mumbai have increased it from 16,000 to 17,000. The court said that requests for the Coronavirus test cannot be denied instead the procedures should be simplified so that more and more tests can be done.
Delhi is in the third position of COVID- 19 cases after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Delhi has accounted for 34, 687 patients so far and 1, 085 deaths according to the Union Health Ministry. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has repeatedly said that the city is prepared to tackle the pandemic amid the increase in the number of cases, which is expected to rise to 5.5 lakh by July 31.
On Monday, former law minister Ashwani Kumar had written to Chief Justice of India SA Bodde, mentioning how the COVID- 19 patients and the dead bodies were being handled. “Right to die with dignity is a fundamental right and it includes right to a decent burial or cremation,” he said in his letter mentioning several media reports, including recent incidents in Puducherry and Madhya Pradesh. The video that had caused a massive atrocity, prompting the administration, where the government workers hurriedly threw the body of COVID- 19 positive men into a pit. In another incident an 80- year old as seen tied to his hospital bed in Madhya Pradesh because of failing to pay the fees for his treatment. The hospital however said that he was having convulsions.