Why can’t private hospitals which were given land free of cost treat COVID-19 patients for free, asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Seeking a reply from Centre on the matter in a week, the apex court said hospitals which can treat such patients for free or at a nominal cost must be identified.
This comes a day after the top court took the suo motu cognizance of “problems and miseries of migrant labourers” stranded in different parts of the country and “inadequacies and certain lapses” in efforts by the Centre and States. The court has sought their responses, saying it will hear the matter again Thursday.
Pointing out that “the crises of migrant labourers is even continuing today with large sections still stranded on roads, highways, railway stations and State borders,” the judges said, “Adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provided by the Centre and State Governments free of cost”.
The bench observed that “newspaper reports and the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on foot and cycles from long distance.
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