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The Patna High Court has taken note of the reports of police brutality and excesses, while imposing the lockdown, and has directed authorities to keep a check on the same.
The bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar also gave few other directions to the state about infrastructure in hospitals and about training unskilled youth to use equipments in medical wards like ICU.
Infrastructure in hospitals
The court had formed a 3-member committee of experts consisting of doctors to report on issues of sufficiency or lack of beds, oxygen, medicines, human resources and security and the report submitted that except for ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Bihta, there was no significant deficiency in the infrastructure in other hospitals visited.
The committee also gave some suggestions with regard to investigation and management of Covid-19 such protocol to be followed after Antigen test, Chest x-ray, HRCT, treating patients with mild symptoms and so on.
Interestingly, the report of the expert committee does not mention Darbhanga Medical College & Hospital which caters to at least five districts of North Bihar with a population of 2.5 crore. The hospital has been widely reported in the media for its dilapidated state and the failing infrastructure. A report by The Print pointed out the deplorable state of the isolation wards, the lack of toilets for women and the lamentable hygiene as stary dogs roam around the hospital and pigs roaming within the compound.
The ESIC Hospital, Bhita also filed an affidavit highlighting the requirements of the hospital managed by the state government, the hospital management as well as the Army Medical Corps. The court then directed the Officer In-charge of the Army Medical Corp to file his personal affidavit indicating the lack of infrastructure, not covered in the hospital’s affidavit and also directed the liasoning officer appointed by the government to submit report on remedial steps within 5 days.
Citing non-availability of skilled human resources to man the essential equipment installed in the wards, ICUs, the court directed that a capsulated course of training is prepared for giving basic training to the unskilled youth.
The court also emphasised that the government should develop a State Level Protocol to enable people to understand how to deal with the virus, especially in rural areas, where the information has to be in their language.
The court also noted purported illegality and brutality exhibited by the police in enforcing the lockdown and directed authorities to keep a check on the same.
Last week, there were reports that Kishanganj police were seen in a video clip that went viral, making people, apparently lockdown violators, crawl on their elbows and knees and some were made to jump like frogs in the middle of Dey Market area.
The matter will be taken up next on June 2.
The order may be read here: