Updated: March 11, 2020 9:27:04 pm
The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought to know the stands of the Centre and the Delhi government on a PIL seeking review of all medical facilities and infrastructure available to deal with a coronavirus outbreak. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Health and the Delhi government seeking their replies by March 30.
The plea filed by advocate Triveni Potekar sought direction to authorities for setting up a monitoring committee under the supervision of experts in the field. It also sought directions for making available important and relevant information, including guidance on easy access to medical facilities to treat and test coronavirus.
The Centre’s standing counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the ministry, submitted that “state-of-the-art” medical facilities have been put to use to check whether people coming here were infected as “prevention is better than cure”.
The PIL said India is under grave potential risk of mass infection due to lack of sufficient screening, testing, isolation facilities, and trained health workers. It claimed that steps being taken by the Centre were not sufficient to handle a mass outbreak.
The petition also stated that the public at large is gripped with fear and uncertainty due to misinformation about the virus.
Stating that it is the right of the public to know the preparedness of the Centre and Delhi government, the advocate sought sought judicial review of the preparation and steps taken by both governments on a scientific basis, and not an ad-hoc basis.
The petition further claimed that the Centre “has not provided any preventive mechanism other than screening at 21 airports and ports, and has established only 15 testing centres and 50,000 personal protection equipment, and the same seems grossly inadequate”.
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