Will settle policy on door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination in one week: Maharashtra govt to Bombay HC

Bombay High Court

The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that it will finalise within a week its policy on beginning door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination drives for the elderly, disabled persons and those who are bedridden and unable to go to the shot centres.

The state’s counsel, Geeta Shastri, submitted a draft policy before a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni.

The state had actually constituted an unique job force comprising experts and stakeholders to come up with such a policy, Shastri said.

While information of the policy could not be revealed yet, the exact same will be settled within a week and submitted before the court, she said.

The bench accepted Shastri’s submissions.

It was hearing a bunch of PILs, including a plea filed by lawyer Dhruti Kapadia looking for door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination for people above 75 years of age and specially-abled or bedridden individuals.

Follow our LIVE blog for newest updates of the unique coronavirus pandemic

During a previous hearing, the high court observed that the Centre had not imposed any prohibition on states from carrying out door-to-door vaccination for the senior and handicapped people.

It had also said the Union government’s policy or the Basic Operating Procedure (SOP) on vaccination that did not attend to door-to-door drives was merely an advisory.

On Tuesday, the bench stated, “Prima facie, we believe that the task force is continuing in the best instructions. We, nevertheless, leave it to the job force to incorporate such steps which are helpful for the health of the elderly and disabled citizens.”

“We hope that when we use up this PIL next, the state would remain in a position to show us the approved guideline,” the court stated.

The bench likewise directed the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to submit community ward-wise details of vaccines administered to the mentally-ill and homeless individuals in the city.

The direction came on another PIL submitted by attorney Sarosh Bharucha, seeking the court’s intervention for making sure higher gain access to of vaccines to residents.

Bharucha explained that the existing state standards on COVID-19 vaccination did not consider covering individuals who were mentally ill and those without a legal guardian, and for that reason, not in a position to offer an educated approval for getting the vaccine.

The HC asked the state and the local authorities to react to the problem by next week.

“The number of homeless or psychologically ill persons have been looked after in every ward in the city? We are broaching you (state) offering them food, shelter, vaccination, everything,” the high court said.

“Your affidavit is definitely silent on this concern. We are a very complex society. No one can be ignored or overlooked,” the HC said.

The court will hear the above PILs next on June 29.

Follow our complete coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.Published at Tue
, 22 Jun 2021 09:43:14 +0000