States obligated to implement Centre’s procedures on COVID-19: SC

New Delhi, September 11

The Supreme Court on Friday stated the states have been obligated to implement the Centre’s customary working process (SOP) on varied facets of COVID-19 together with transporting a suspected or confirmed case.

The high court docket, listening to a PIL filed by organisation ‘Earth’ alleging that exorbitant charges are being charged for ambulances from suspected and confirmed coronavirus sufferers, nevertheless, made clear that states ought to repair this cost.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan took observe of the submissions of Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, showing for the Centre, that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already issued the SOP on this regard and all states “will have to implement it”.

“It is obligatory for all states to follow the SOP and take appropriate measures with regard to augmenting the capacity of ambulances,” stated the bench, additionally comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, within the proceedings carried out via video conferencing.

The petitioner organisation stated the SOP doesn’t cowl the pricing facet of ambulances and this needs to be fastened as hospitals are charging exorbitantly and arbitrarily.

“The state governments will fix reasonable charge and all ambulances will be provided on that charge,” the bench stated and disposed of the PIL.

The bench, in the course of the listening to, famous that some states weren’t implementing the SOP and the sufferers have been on the mercy of others and are being charged Rs 7,000 and typically as much as Rs 50,000 for ambulance companies.

Earlier, the Central Government on March 29 had laid down the SOP on varied points together with for medical employees attending to or transporting a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

The SOP was additionally meant to information and practice ambulance drivers and technicians in transporting COVID-19 sufferers.

“Ideally, there should be ambulances identified specifically for transporting COVID suspect patients or those who have developed complications, to the health facilities,” the SOP had stated.

“Currently, there are two types of ambulances — ALS (with ventilators) and BLS (without ventilators). States may empanel other ambulances having basic equipment like that of BLS and use it for COVID patients,” the Health Ministry had stated.

It had warned in opposition to the usage of the “102 ambulances” for coronavirus sufferers and stated they need to solely be used to move pregnant ladies and sick infants.

The emergency medical technician (EMT), driver of an ambulance should put on private protecting gear (PPE) when dealing with, managing and transporting recognized and suspected circumstances of COVID-19.

The affected person and the attendant needs to be supplied with triple-layer masks and gloves, the SOP stated. PTI

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