File report on steps taken to tackle delay in hospitalisation of COVID-19 patients: Manipur HC

Asking to submit the report by December 15, the HC also directed to submit policy of the state government on establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 hospital.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Kh Nobin of the High Court of Manipur on Wednesday directed the state government to submit a report on steps taken  to tackle the surging COVID-19 related deaths as a result of alleged delay in hospitalisation by the patients.

Asking to submit the report by December 15, the HC also directed to submit policy of the state government on establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 hospital.

The High Court put up the matter during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an executive member of Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) Keisam Pradipkumar on October 19 to ensure availability of adequate infrastructures and facilities of a dedicated COVID-19 care hospital and effective implementation of SOPs to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

The petitioner stated that the transmission of COVID-19 in Manipur is surging like wildfire. Though the state government has not declared community transmission officially yet, the infection has spread among the communities in Manipur. The number of cases per one million people for Manipur is 5,035 which are higher than the worldwide average of 5,017 per one million, it mentioned in his PIL.

It stated that the total number of positive cases in the last 17 days, i.e. from October 1 to 17 is very high as expected and predicted by many public health experts earlier and has reached 4,158.

When the COVID-19 lockdown was first imposed across the country and in Manipur and during the months of April and May, 2020 the positive cases in the state were very low, averaging 10-15 cases per day, it stated. But during mid-July, the positive cases in the state increased to 50 cases per day and again after the relaxation of lockdown, the numbers jumped to 100-150 cases per day, it added.

However, there were only five deaths and 2,621 positive cases and 931 active cases till July 31, it further stated adding presently, the state is witnessing around 400 positive cases per day. The state authorities miserably failed to get a firm grip on the situation and control the rising trend of the contagion in the state, PIL stated.

It further stated that presently, almost all the beds in COVID-19 wards in RIMS hospital and JNIMS Hospital are exhausted and as such, no more COVID-19 patients could be accommodated. At the same time in both hospitals, no extra ventilators are available for serious COVID-19 patients at present.

Thus, the authorities are required to closely focus on expanding the Covid Care Centre (CCC) capacity since the chances of contracting the disease has now increased, it added.  

With the lockdown scenario having gone, the Central Government has now adopted the unlock scenario and therefore, people have to work together and see what is the suitable strategy for achieving the overall best scenario, it stated.  

It further stated that the current strategy of the state government and the Health department needs to be changed to make enough beds available in the Covid Care Centres.

Over and above, the authorities of JNIMS and RIMS have to identify more COVID-19 treatment blocks at their respective hospitals to ensure that enough beds are available in these two hospitals for the symptomatic positive patients, the PIL added. 

First Published:Dec. 2, 2020, 10:39 p.m.

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