Allahabad/Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has said that the entire medical system in villages and small cities of Uttar Pradesh is at God’s mercy (“Ram bharose”). The court made this observation on Monday while hearing a PIL over the surge in coronavirus cases and the condition of quarantine centres in the state.

A High Court Bench comprising Justices Siddharth Verma and Ajit Kumar made the observation while taking into account the death of Santosh Kumar (64), who was admitted to an isolation ward at a Meerut hospital. 

Citing a probe report, the PIL said that the doctors there failed to identify him and disposed of the body as unidentified. Santosh had fainted at a hospital bathroom on April 22 and efforts were made to revive him but he died.

A PTI report said that the hospital staff failed to identify the dead and could not locate his file, therefore, it was taken as a case of an unidentified body. The probe report said that the body was packed in a bag and was disposed of.

If this is the state of affairs at a medical college in a city like Meerut, then the entire medical system of the state pertaining to smaller cities and villages can only be taken to be like a famous Hindi saying, ”Ram bharose”, said the High Court on Monday, while observing COVID-19 situation.

“If doctors and paramedical staff adopt such casual approach and show carelessness in the performance of their duty, then it is a case of serious misconduct because it is something like playing with lives of innocent people. The state needs to take stern action against those responsible,” the court was quoted as saying. 

Upon perusal of the report submitted by district magistrates of five districts, the High Court said, “We have no hesitation in observing that health infrastructure is absolutely insufficient in city areas to meet the requirement of the city population and in the rural areas the community health centres are virtually lacking in respect of life-saving gadgets.”

The state government was directed to provide sufficient health care infrastructure in compliance with its direction issued earlier. It also directed that every nursing home/ hospital, which has more than 20 beds, should have at least 40 per cent of their beds as intensive care units.

It further said that every nursing home and hospital, which has more than 30 beds, should compulsorily have an oxygen production plant.

The court fixed May 22 as the next date of hearing and suggested that every second and third-tier town of Uttar Pradesh should be provided with at least 20 ambulances and every village should be provided with at least two ambulances having intensive care unit facilities. 

On the issue of coronavirus vaccination, the HC suggested that big business houses that take benefits under taxation laws by donating to various religious organisations may be asked to divert their funds for vaccines.

According to a government bulletin on Monday, Uttar Pradesh reported 285 coronavirus deaths as 9,391 fresh COVID-19 cases surfaced, taking the state’s infection tally to 16,28,990. So far, 17,817 people have died from the infection in the state.

Of the fresh deaths, 22 were reported from Lucknow, followed by 21 in Kanpur. Eleven deaths each were reported from Ghaziabad and Saharanpur and nine each from Lakhimpur Kheri and Etawah, the bulletin said.

Meanwhile, the highest 542 infection cases surfaced in Gorakhpur, followed by 517 in Lucknow, 458 in Saharanpur, 457 in Gautam Buddh Nagar and 452 in Meerut. Till now, 14,62,141 people have recovered from the virus with 23,045 recoveries in the past 24 hours.

The bulletin said that the count of active cases in the state stands at 1,49,032.

(With Agency Inputs)

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