“A stitch in time saves nine” if at all the respondent State had kept this phrase in mind, the State would not have been facing so many new cases of COVID-19 and consequential deaths arising therefrom, Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High Court, today, directed the state government to ramp up facilities at Covid-19 hospitals.

A division bench of justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Jyotsna Rewal Dua directed the state government to ensure that senior doctors in all notified COVID hospitals visit the ward on regular basis. The government shall also consider the feasibility of having liquid oxygen tankers stationed at all notified Covid hospitals, it said.

The bench further ordered the state government to ramp up the testing by adopting the approved measures by associating private Labs or their technicians, or both.

The Court asked government to ensure that “wrapping up of the dead body(ies) of those COVID patients, who unfortunately succumb to the disease, under no circumstances is/are carried out/done in the Ward and the body is removed immediately from the Ward.”

Court also directed government that “patients, who are willing to afford, be permitted to have trained nursing attendant at their own costs as this would be a long way to reduce the burden on the hospital staff.”

The court said all those involved in Covid duties irrespective of their rank and files are restrained from going on strike/dharna. In case, any one of them have any difficulty, then they are at liberty to approach this court individually or through the learned Amicus Curiae for redressal, directed the court. They may be terminated or service provider company will be blacklisted. They will be prosecuted for contempt of court.

The State would consider providing additional incentives to those deployed in COVID-19 duties including the outsourced workers, more particularly, Class-III and IV, who are working in the COVID wards, Bench ruled.

High Court Bench also directed the state government to ensure to attend the patients undergoing treatment at home by dedicated medical personnel at least twice a day over telephone so as to monitor the treatment at home.