New Delhi, April 8: The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed a slew of interim directions for the safety of doctors and other healthcare personnel taking care of Covid-19 patients.
The directions came on a plea by a Nagpur-based doctor, Jerryl Banait, on the availability of headcovers, face shields, medical masks, and shower covers among others for doctors in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, along with the metros.
The top court directed the ministry of health and family welfare to ensure the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), including sterile medical gloves, starch apparel, medical masks, goggles, face shields, respirators, shoe covers, head covers and coveralls to all health workers, including doctors, nurses, ward boys, other medical and paramedical professionals attending to patients suffering from Covid-19 in India, the Mint reported.
The apex court also directed the Centre and state governments to provide security to doctors and medical staff treating patients suffering from Covid-19. Security should also be provided if a doctor or nurse visits a patient where the person has been quarantined, the top court said.
Authorities should take action against those preventing doctors, medical staff or government officials deputed to contain Covid-19 from performing their duty, the court said.
The Supreme Court also directed the government to explore all alternatives for augmenting domestic production of protective clothing and gear for medical professionals.This includes exploring alternative modes of production of such clothing and permitting movement of raw materials. The government may also restrict export of such materials to augment inventory and domestic stock, said the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Ravindra Bhat after hearing in the morning through video-conferencing.
The petitioner said it was the government’s duty to ensure that medical health professions are provided graded protective gear as they come in constant contact with Covid-19 patients and there is no specific vaccine available to cure the disease.