U'khand HC issues directives to control COVID-19

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Nainital, Apr 29 (PTI) The Uttarakhand High Court has issued a slew of directives to the state government on controlling the rising cases of COVID-19 and sought a detailed action taken report (ATR) from it on compliance with its orders by May 7.

The high court said the Director General of Health should provide full benefits of government health cards issued to people in both government and private hospitals equipped with testing facilities.

It further directed increasing testing in Haldwani, Dehradun and Nainital to 30,000-50,000 people per day, putting emphasis on sample collection from homes.

Hearing a PIL filed on behalf of advocate Dushyant Mainali on Wednesday, Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma passed orders on more than a dozen points.

Taking cognizance of problems faced in the cremation of people dying of coronavirus, the court has asked the government to create additional crematoriums and provide adequate quantity of firewood there.

It has also asked all the District Magistrates of the state along with nodal officers in each district to provide help line numbers for people in their jurisdiction and make them public.

The high court said there are more than 2,500 dental surgeons in the state who should also be put on COVID-19 duty to help the common man.

Keeping in mind the seriousness of the situation, the court said the staff engaged in COVID-19 care at Haldwani's Sushila Tiwari Hospital should be provided accommodation near the facility for the safety of their family members.

The Court held that it is the constitutional and moral obligation of the state government to save the lives of its people.

Therefore, in the context of the action taken in compliance with the orders passed by the court on all the points, a detailed report from the Health Secretary must be filed before May 7, it said.

The court also expressed its concern over the upcoming chardham yatra and suggested that the government should make appropriate arrangements and restrictions for it. PTI Corr ALM SA