Coronavirus: SC asks Centre to pass directions on quarantine, salaries of health workers by Thursday

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to pass directions regarding quarantine of doctors engaged in treating Covid-19 patients and salaries of healthcare workers by Thursday, reported Live Law. The bench said non-adherence to these directions will be deemed an offence under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and asked the Centre to file a compliance report within four weeks.

The court was hearing a petition seeking separate residential facilities for doctors treating patients affected by the coronavirus, by acquiring hotels and guest houses close to the hospitals. The plea, filed by Dr Arushi Jain, contended that currently health workers were made to share rooms, which defeated the purpose of self-containment. On May 15, the Centre had said in a notification that only those health workers who fall under the ambit of “high risk exposure” would need to be quarantined for 14 days.

The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah said doctors and healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients should not be denied quarantine facilities. “Suppose a doctor with a PPE comes in contact with Covid-19 patient, then can’t he be said to be high risk case?” asked Justice Bhushan, according to Bar and Bench.

Solicitor General for India Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, assured the court that doctors and medical…

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