PIL to earmark 5 hospitals for treating disabled kids for COVID: HC seeks Centre, Delhi govt stand

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New Delhi, May 5 (PTI) A PIL in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday urged it to direct the Delhi government designate at least five hospitals which will mandatorily cater to medical needs of children with special needs (CWSN), especially intellectually specially-abled, who may be infected with COVID-19 without insisting upon RTPCR reports, oxygen levels or CT scan results.

The plea by a lawyer has claimed that CWSN or persons with disabilities (PWD), especially those who are intellectually specially-abled, or do not have voluntary muscle control, do not allow outsiders to carry out nasal swabs for RTPCR tests, nor do they lie still for a CT scan or measuring of oxygen levels unless they are on general anesthesia in a hospital setting.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notices to the Union ministries of Health and Social Justice and the Delhi government seeking their stand on the petition by advocate Anshumaan Sahni.

Sahni, in the plea, has referred to various instances where parents of CWSN or PWD have been turned away by hospitals as they could not provide RTPCR test reports, oxygen saturation levels or CT scan results.

'Such children or persons have gone through enough trauma in the last one year being locked down or locked in due to the pandemic. They are already very stressed and highly disturbed that in a situation where they contract COVID-19, it is very difficult to check their SPO2 (oxygen) levels, put on an oxygen concentrator, take a nasal swab or do a CT Scan unless they are on general anesthesia in a hospital setting,' Sahni has said in his petition.

He has said that he is not seeking a direction to reserve beds exclusively for such individuals, rather he wants to designate five hospitals in the national capital where such children or persons with special needs may be taken for treatment and where they may not be denied admission simply for the reason that they were unable to provide their SPO2 levels or lung CT scan.

Such persons should be taken into emergency and provided immediate medical care and they should not be refused medical treatment for any reason whatsoever, the petition has said.

Sahni has said it was 'disheartening' to see parents of such persons or children trying to treat them at home without much luck.

'It is imperative that persons or children with special needs get medical attention in a hospital in an emergency situation so that they are not denied medical treatment for reasons stated above,' the petition has said. PTI HMP AQS AQS