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Govt taking care of nurses, healthcare workers: HC

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Delhi High Court

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday disposed off a petition which highlighted the blatant violation of the human rights of the nurses and other health workers deployed at the forefront in private nursing homes or hospitals in Delhi, after noting that the authorities have taken adequate steps in this regard.

“Looking into the present PIL, the respondents have taken good care of the situation, provided helpline number, grievance settlement cell has been created, for N95 masks and PPE care has been taken and even a nodal officer is also appointed. In these circumstances, there is no need to further monitor the same and hence the said petition is disposed of,” said a division bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.

The court also noted the submission of the Delhi government that quarantine is required for nurses who are working with high-risk patients. “In view of this, it appears that quarantine facility is not required for all the nurses,” the bench said.

In its affidavit filed before the court, the Delhi government stated that via an office order dated July 14, the Kejriwal government has directed all registered hospitals both government and private to file an undertaking with regard to the N95 masks, PPE kits and other protective equipment being provided to the nurses and the healthcare workers.

The affidavit said that in respect of making necessary PPE kits, N95 and other protective equipment available, necessary directions have been issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Delhi government which state that all registered healthcare facilities in Delhi are to follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health regarding rational use of PPE equipment in accordance with risks involved.

“For managing healthcare workers in COVID as well as non-COVID areas of hospital, regular quarantine of healthcare workers after duty in COVID areas is not warranted, an initial period of one-week quarantine (with further extension of one week) as per discretion of nodal officer is warranted only in high-risk/low-risk exposure, due to breach of PPE or non-use of recommended PPE,” the affidavit stated.

With regard to the ex-gratia amount for all healthcare professionals irrespective of whether they are attending COVID or non-COVID patients, the Delhi government responded that it would abide by its existing policy, which says only those persons (doctors, nurses, paramedic staff, security, sanitation workers, police official or any other government official) whether belonging to private or government who are deployed for COVID-19 duties by the government are eligible for the ex-gratia payment posthumously.

Meanwhile, on the submissions regarding the extension of benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to the nurses/healthcare professionals, who are working in private nursing homes and the premium for which is to be paid by the government, the Centre informed that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package was implemented by it which provides comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs 50 lakh to over 22.12 lakh healthcare professionals.

During the course of the hearing, the petitioner insisted on inclusion of the nurses working in private nursing homes under the ambit of the scheme, to which the court responded, “If we include other people in this Yojana and interfere with the policy decision, it would change the whole budget of the Yojana.”

“Such schemes are created keeping in view the funds available and the same would affect the budget,” the court added.

The submissions came while the bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which aimed at highlighting the blatant violation of human rights of the nurses and other health workers deployed in the forefront of private nursing homes or hospitals in Delhi.

The plea stated that the health and welfare of the nurses should be considered paramount, especially during the time of such a pandemic.

During these testing times, the plea said, the worst-hit are the nurses who are giving care to the patients at the bedside without personal protective equipment (PPE), N95 mask, gloves, etc especially in private nursing homes in Delhi and other parts of the country when there is spike in asymptomatic Covid cases.

“This has led to severe stress among the working nurses in Delhi and other parts of the country. Nurses live in the midst of the distressed atmosphere of the hospital. Naturally they get tired due to the stress and strain both mentally and physically,” the plea said.

(IANS)

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Over 92K new corona cases in India, total over 54-lakh mark

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Coronavirus iraq covid 19

With another significant single-day spike of 92,605 coronavirus cases, India’s total tally on Sunday breached the 54-lakh mark to reach 54,00,620 cases even as 1,133 more COVID-19 deaths were recorded in 24 hours.

Of the total cases, 10,10,824 are still active, 43,03,043 patients cured and discharged, whereas another 86,752 lost the battle against the viral disease.

While the recovery rate stands at 79.68 per cent, the fatality rate has come down to 1.61 per cent, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with 11,89,815 cases, including 32,216 deaths, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research data, India conducted 12,06,806 sample tests in a single day on Saturday, taking the total samples tested so far to 6,36,61,060.

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India

‘Should have remembered Gandhians have lost favour with this regime: Ribeiro’s response to Delhi top cop

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Ribeiro SN Shrivastav

New Delhi, Sep 16 : A day after Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava replied to an email by retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro about the investigation by the Delhi Police into the North East Delhi riots, Ribeiro has reverted and said his doubts in the open letter have not yet been addressed by Shrivastava.

“I realise that it is difficult, indeed impossible, to justify the licence given to the three BJP stalwarts I named — licence to rant, rave and threaten those who are peacefully protesting perceived wrongs. If the speakers were Muslims or leftists the police would have surely taken them in for sedition !” Ribeiro wrote to Shrivastava.

He further added: “After talking to you on the phone and perusing your letter I have decided to put myself in your shoes! How would I dispel the doubts that your retired brother officers still have about the Delhi Police investigations in North East riots? I would quickly file the charge sheets in all the 753 cases, including specially the conspiracy case registered by your Special cell and get the evidence authenticated in a court of Law.”

“More pertinently I would not prolong the UAPA case by arresting persons just a day or two before the time limit expires for filing the charge-sheet,” he wrote.

The former IPS further added: “I note in your email to me that you have doubted the patriotism of the three who I named as ‘True patriots’. The three include Harsh Mander, Prof. Apoorvanand and me. I have not described one else as such and hence my surmise. Harsh and Apoorvanand are Gandhians. I should have remembered that Gandhians have lost favour with this regime!”

The response came after Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava backed the investigation of its force in a reply to doubts raised by Ribeiro and said that a false narrative of the riots investigation was being created.

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Haryana transport minister tests positive for COVID-19

With the speaker too positive for the disease, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.

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Mool Chand Sharma

Chandigarh, Aug 25 : Haryana Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a day before the Assembly’s monsoon session begins here.

On Monday, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Speaker Gian Chand Gupta were also found infected with the virus. Officials said the chief minister, admitted to Gurgaon’s Medanta hospital, is in a stable condition.

The speaker had mandated a coronavirus test for all MLAs, Assembly staffers and officials ahead of the session beginning August 26.

BJP MLAs Lakshman Napa, Ram Kumar Kashyap and Aseem Goel have also tested positive as have six Assembly staffers, officials said.

Sharma, a BJP MLA from Ballabgarh in Faridabad district, said he was asymptomatic and appealed to all those who had come in contact with him to get themselves tested.

Until Tuesday morning, I’ve had no symptoms. I am not running fever, my throat is clear, there is no runny nose and there are no flu-like symptoms. As of now, I have isolated myself at home, Sharma told PTI over phone.

The state’s transport minister had on Monday carried out a surprise inspection of a bus stand in his assembly constituency.

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is leader of opposition in the Assembly, has tested negative for the infection, sources said.

Khattar’s test report came on Monday, six days after he had attended a meeting with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who was later found COVID positive. The chief minister reached Gurgaon on Monday night from his official residence in Chandigarh

With the speaker too positive for the disease, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.

The speaker had made it mandatory for anyone entering the Assembly complex for the monsoon session to show a COVID-19 negative certificate, which should not be older than three days. This was done on Health Minister Anil Vij’s suggestion. The seating arrangement in the House has also been changed to ensure social distancing, officials said.

Haryana Assembly has a strength of 90 members.

With 1,074 fresh cases, the state’s COVID-19 tally is 55,460, according to the health department’s daily bulletin on Monday.

Vij on Friday said all offices and shops, except those providing essential services, will remain closed every Saturday and Sunday in the wake of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.

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