Concerned over rise in dengue and chikungunya cases which have claimed several lives, Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked city hospitals run by the Centre and AAP government not to deny treatment to patients as it passed a slew of directions in the matter.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal ordered that steps be taken by both governments to increase the strength of doctors, nurses and other staff in their hospitals by engaging "retired personnel, if so required, to meet the exigencies".
"The Government of India as well as Government of NCT of Delhi shall take effective steps to ensure that the dengue/ chikungunya patients are not denied treatment/admission in any of the hospital (government/private) of Delhi. …assistance of NGOs who are involved in such activities may also be taken," the court said.
The direction came on a plea filed by advocate Shahid Ali, who has accused the two governments and the municipal corporations here of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control dengue, a mosquito-borne tropical disease.
On August 17, the court had disposed of two petitions on the same issue observing that several measures stated to have been undertaken have not reached the public at large and the spread of the diseases was playing havoc with the lives of the inhabitants of Delhi.
"Dengue is one of the major public health challenges in Delhi especially during Monsoon and the prevailing situation in relation to dengue, in our considered opinion, needs more effective steps to control the damage," it had said.
The court had also directed the authorities concerned to take appropriate steps for periodical visits of houses, more particularly those located in slum areas, for prevention of mosquito breeding by adopting necessary measures such as fogging and spraying of insecticides by the municipal bodies.
The earlier order had said, "The Government of India/ GNCTD/Municipal Corporations of Delhi/NDMC shall conduct awareness campaigns and advertise through various modes viz.hoardings, television, newspapers, radio etc. to make the public aware of the life threatening disease and preventive measures to be taken to control dengue cases in Delhi."
Similar directions were issued by the bench in Ali’s plea which was disposed of by the court while asking the governments to follow its orders in future also as these diseases occured every year.
It said that all the measures taken by Delhi government shall continue for ensuring that proper medical care is provided to the needy public.
"Delhi government shall consider the feasibility of the implementation of the various measures suggested by petitioner (Ali) and take an appropriate decision within four weeks from today," the court said.
The petitioner has suggested additional measures like sub-dividing of existing muinicipal wards for identification and implementation of preventive measures to combat dengue and other vector-borne diseases.
"A dedicated complaint board may be constituted and the same be empowered to take punitive actions against the guilty and negligent officials/safai karacharis. The occupants of the house/premises where the breedings of mosquiots is reported by the checking officials be heavily penalised.
"Fogging/spraying of anti-mosquito chemicals should be directed to be commenced every year with effect from June.
More places should be provided with proper maintenance and all the nalas should be ordered to be covered," the petitioner had suggested.
He had further suggested that the polyclinics in each and every ward should be provided and properly maintained.