Image used for indicative purpose only. Source Internet

Shimla, Aug 11

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday directed the state government not to shift Covid-19 patients from Sirmaur and Solan districts to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) Hospital in Shimla unless the hospitals there run out of capacity for new patients.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice L. Narayana Swamy and Justice Anoop Chitkara passed these orders on a petition filed by Inderjit Singh, who challenged the July 16 order of the government designating the DDU Zonal Hospital as a Dedicated Covid Care Hospital for Solan and Sirmaur, besides Shimla and Kinnaur districts.

The petitioner said at a meeting held on May 15 that after overall analysis of equipments and staff was done at the hospital, number of shortcomings was found that made it inappropriate to handle the situation as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi.

The analysis reflected that ICU lacks the basic infrastructure and hospital is running short on 11 anesthetist/medical specialist, 62 staff nurses and 4 radiographers. Besides this, one remote control monitoring system is needed to be installed to decrease exposure of staff. 12 pulse oxymeter, 1 defribrillator, electric suction machines – 1 for ICU and 4 for Covid Ward, oxygen manifold, 10 oxygen regulator, 1 video laryngoscope, 12 syringe infusion pumps, scrub station, portable X-ray and alpha bed mattresses are also required. “When the DDU is not fully equipped, it would be detrimental to public interest to transfer the patients from Solan and Sirmaur to Shimla,” he prayed.

During the course of hearing, on 7.8.2020, it was pointed out by the Director Health Services, H.P. that there are twenty four ventilators and given the infrastructure, one Anesthetist can cater to six ventilators only. However, today it was stated that there are now two Anesthetists working to cater to the ventilators.

The Court observed that even if two Anesthetists are available, 12 ventilators still don’t have Anesthetists. Hence, when the infrastructure at DDU itself is incomplete, it does not lie for the State to order shifting of patients from Sirmaur and Solan, unless those hospitals have run out of infrastructure.

The Court posted the matter for 17th August, 2020.


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