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Supreme Court tells Centre to examine providing PPE to healthcare workers in non-Covid areas

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New Delhi, April 28, 2020-

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to examine the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for all categorised as healthcare workers engaged in “non-Covid treatment areas”, and make necessary suggestions for the rational use of the PPE guidelines.

An SC bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and B.R. Gavai took up the matter through video conferencing and took note of the petitioner’s argument that Covid-19 infection from asymptomatic patients are reported to be on the rise in the country.

The direction from the bench came while hearing an application seeking provision of PPE kits for all health workers, including doctors, nurses, ward boys and other medical and paramedical professionals who are working in ‘non-Covid treatment areas’.

The bench observed that there is substance in the suggestion made in the application.

The bench said, “In view of the above, we direct the respondent/Union of India to examine this issue and make necessary suggestions for the ‘rational use of Personal Protective Equipment’ guidelines so that PPE kits are provided to all health officials, as stated above, who are working in non-Covid treatment areas.”

Disposing of the application, the bench said the order passed by the top court in April on this issue would continue.

On April 8, the top court had noted that healthcare workers, doctors and nurses are actually the first line of defence of the country in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

The apex court had directed the Centre that PPE should be made available to these frontline warriors, who are involved in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

Emphasising on the security of healthcare workers, the apex court had also directed the Centre and all the states and UTs to provide police security to the healthcare workers in hospitals and at quarantine facilities where suspected people or patients diagnosed with Covid-19 are housed.

Also, the court had directed that police security should be provided to doctors and other medical staff, who are involved in contact tracing of people.  (Agency)

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