When the law takes its own course, it goes long. The High Court of Tripura on Sept 11 directed the state government to submit an affidavit within September 18 providing detailed information on the infrastructure available in state-run G B Pant Hospital (at the capital) to treat coronavirus patients. Though Fit NorthEast had carried a detailed report on this in the previous week below are the details to refresh your memory. The apex court in the state took suo motu cognizance of media reports on the plight of COVID-19 patients and their relatives in the hospital. A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Subhashish Talapatra, observed that the time had arrived when the court needed to question the government on matters concerning the handling of coronavirus spread in Tripura and more particularly on matters pertaining to the existing health care facilities.
However, the court was not satisfied with the replies from the state government and asked the government to furnish more inputs about improving the situation. Meanwhile, a two-member central health team comprising two senior doctors, Daisy Panna, consultant epidemiologist, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and P.K. Verma, assistant professor, respiratory medicine, Lady Hardinge Memorial College (LHMC), visited different parts of Tripura for 10 days and concluded their works on Sept 18 last.
The report said, 10 BIPAP machines and 19 ventilators in the G B Pant Hospital, the state's main dedicated COVID hospital are not in use. There is a death register in the hospital, which records the date of deaths, but there are no records like, what disease the deceased was suffering from. There is one infection control committee, which has no records of their meeting minutes or agenda.
When the team visited the hospital the X-ray machine and the CT scan machines were not functioning. There were no display of the duty chart of doctors and the doctor on call. However, what was more alarming is that many used PPE kits were lying on the floors of the hospital and many staff members were moving in the wards without PPE. The team has suggested improvement of the situation that include immediate installation of the X ray and CT scan machines, ventilators and setting up of oxygen plants in all the eight districts of the state.It further suggested that the doctors after completion of their rounds should meet together and review the situation and all the ICUs in all hospitals should be made fully operational.The report suggested increasing the rate of virus test in the containment zones.
The division bench has asked the government to submit the 'action taken report' before the next hearing to be held on October 5.
The present scenario :
The High Court on September 28 has asked the Tripura Government to submit the 'action taken report' . This report pertains to the suggestions of the central team of doctors in terms of controlling the COVID19 situation in the state. To be more precise the division bench has asked the government to submit the 'action taken report' before the next hearing to be held on October 5. Advocate General Arun Kanti Bhowmik apprised the court that the government would submit affidavit on 'action taken' before the stipulated time.The court in observed that simple precautionary measures, such as wearing of the face-mask needs to be enforced through coercive measures.The High Court also directed the state to increase public awareness on wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.The court also asked the government to form a team of doctors and administrators who would periodically visit the designated COVID hospital in the state, inspect facilities and make recommendations to the government and ensure that those violating regulations for wearing masks are identified and penalised.