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The Supreme Court directs police to provide security to doctors & hospitals - Centre to provide PPE kits, masks & other protective gears.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Ashok Bhushan & Justice S. Ravindra Bhat

The SC on April 08, 2020 {JERRYL BANAIT v. UNION OF INDIA & ANR. } held that to combat COVID-19 the first line of defence in battling such a pandemic is the Doctors and the medical staff who are the most vulnerable to fall prey to the virus, while protecting others from it. 

It was also held that an incident which happened on 02.04.2020 in the city of Indore in the locality Tatpatti Bakhal where medical staff with Doctors had gone to screen certain persons regarding coronavirus, were attacked and stones were pelted by certain miscreants, needs to be specially noticed. It was held that certain other incidents have also been reported from other parts of the country including an incident at Ghaziabad where certain patients misbehaved with medical staff, which was reported to the Police also. 

 Accordingly following interim directions were given by the SC:

"We, in view of the above, are satisfied that petitioner has made out a case for issuing following interim directions to the respondents in this PIL

(1) The respondents as per guidelines dated 24.03.2020 of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are directed to ensure availability of appropriate Personal Protective Equipments, including sterile medical/Nitrile gloves, starch apparels, medical masks, goggles, face shield, respirators (i.e. N-95 Respirator Mask or Triple Layer Medical Mask or equivalent), shoe covers, head covers and coveralls/gowns to all Health Workers including Doctors, Nurses, Ward Boys, other medical and paramedical professionals actively attending to, and treating patients suffering from COVID-19 in India, in Metro cities, Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

(2) The Government of India, respective States/Union Territories and respective Police authorities are directed to provide the necessary Police security to the Doctors and medical staff in Hospitals and places where patients who have been diagnosed COVID-19 or patients suspected of COVID-19 or those quarantined are housed. Necessary Police security be also extended to Doctors and other medical staff who visit places to conduct screening of people to find out symptoms of disease.

(3) The State shall also take necessary action against those persons who obstruct and commit any offence in respect to performance of duties by Doctors, medical staff and other Government Officials deputed to containCOVID-19.

(4) The Government shall explore all alternatives including enabling and augmenting domestic production of protective clothing and gear to medical professional. This includes the exploring of alternative modes of production of such clothing (masks, suits, caps, gloves etc.) and permitting movement of raw materials. Further, the Government may also restrict export of such materials to augment inventory and domestic stock."


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