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Long Covid: woman moves SC for Rs 1 cr aid for husband’s lungs transplant

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New Delhi, July 31, 2021 – The Coronavirus has unleashed its wrath on the lives of a young couple who were married just a year ago. The husband is hospitalized since early May, after contracting Covid-19, and currently, requires Rs 1 crore for lungs replacement procedure. The couple is one of those families who are facing the financial version of long-haul Covid: Exorbitant medical bills, emotional stress and approaching various authorities seeking financial help, have upset their lives.

However, his 31-year-old wife is not willing to give-up in the face of adversity. She has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to PM-CARE Fund and other authorities to provide monetary assistance for her husband’s treatment. She claimed her family has already pulled out all their savings to meet the cost of his treatment and have no financial means to raise Rs 1 crore for lungs replacement.

Mehra, in the petition, said no life should meet its end for reason of financial constraints and state is duty bound to extend help in appropriate case. She insisted that PM-Cares Fund is a national endeavour to provide relief to the persons in distress situation. “Petitioner has spent more than Rs 1 crore on medication of her husband and only turned for help after exhausting all money available to her.

The petitioner has also tried crowd funding, personal appeal on social websites, loan from friends and acquaintances before approaching the official respondents for financial help”, said the plea filed through advocate Krishna Kumar Singh.

The woman said she contacted the prime minister’s office with recommendation of two MPs, which merely approved aid of Rs 3 lakh — grossly insufficient to meet the lungs replacement expenses of her husband. Likewise, an amount of Rs 2 lakh was approved by the MP Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, however it has not been disbursed so far.

“PM Cares Fund is a national endeavour to provide relief to the persons in distress situation. The disbursement out of the said fund has to be done on need basis and as per the Deed of trust which governs the fund”, said the plea.

Mehra’s plea contended that failure to provide financial assistance to save life of her husband would violate Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. “The same can be construed as inaction on part of the State in providing adequate health care to the citizens, particularly during the prevailing Covid-19 situation”, it added, stating that all her effort would go in vain if requisite financial help is not extended by the state.

Mehra got married with Manish Kumar Gohiya on June 19, 2020. The couple works in the IT sector and hails from Madhya Pradesh. The plea said, in May, the man got infected with COVID-19 and after being administered with high doses of steroids, his condition worsened and later, he was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

After initial treatment at AIIMS Bhopal, petitioner’s husband was shifted to Yashoda hospital, Secunderabad on June 11 for lungs transplant. Currently, he is at KIMS hospital, where his treatment was costing Rs two lakh per day and Rs 1 crore is required for lungs transplant procedure.  (Agency)

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