Supreme Court orders government to make arrangements for treatment of Covid-19 at private medical facilitiesThe ruling comes amid reports of private hospitals and medical facilities refusing to treat patients showing symptoms similar to Covid-19.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an order to the government to make necessary arrangements for the treatment of Covid-19 patients at private hospitals and medical facilities.
The order comes amid reports of private hospitals and medical facilities refusing to treat patients showing symptoms similar to Covid-19.
A single bench of justice Manoj Kumar Sharma, hearing the writ petition filed by advocates Pushpa Raj Poudel and Saroj Krishna Ghimire, issued the order stating that private medical institutions must act in responsible manner towards ensuring the citizens’ right to healthcare and direct their efforts at treating Covid-19 patients.
No private medical institutions, under any circumstances, can deny treatment to Covid-19 patients, read the statement. “That’s why the government should oversee all necessary arrangements from the private medical institutions such as beds, intensive care units, and ventilators, among other equipment needed for the treatment of the disease.”
The court also ordered the government to make arrangements, including personal protective equipment, needed for the safety of medical professionals, including the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, cleaners, pharmacists, general workers and security personnel who are at high risks of contracting the disease.
The Supreme Court on Monday issued an interim order to the government to ensure the constitutional right of food of vulnerable workers who are worst hit by the lockdown enforced to stem the spread of novel coronavirus.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of September 18, 2020
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19, short for coronavirus disease, is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Common symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
How contagious is Covid-19?
Covid-19 can spread easily from person to person, especially in enclosed spaces. The virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. As the virus can also survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours, any contact with such surfaces can also spread the virus. Symptoms take between two to 14 days to appear, during which time the carrier is believed to be contagious.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that is responsible for everything from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). After an initial outbreak in Wuhan that spread across Hubei province, eventually infecting over 80,000 and killing more than 3,000, new infection rates in mainland China have dropped. However, the disease has since spread across the world at an alarming rate.
What is the current status of Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation has called the ongoing outbreak a “pandemic” and urged countries across the world to take precautionary measures. Covid-19 has spread to 213 countries and territories around the world and infected more than 30,349,591 people with 950,555 deaths and 22,038,587 recoveries. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 5,212,686 with 84,404 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 304,386 confirmed cases with 6,408 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 61,593 cases with 390 deaths.
How dangerous is the disease?
The mortality rate for Covid-19 is estimated to be 3.6 percent, but new studies have put the rate slightly higher at 5.7 percent. Although Covid-19 is not too dangerous to young healthy people, older individuals and those with immune-compromised systems are at greater risk of death. People with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, or those who’ve recently undergone serious medical procedures, are also at risk.
How do I keep myself safe?
The WHO advises that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces like your computers and phones. Avoid large crowds of people. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for longer than a few days.
Is it time to panic?
No. The government has imposed a lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. There is no need to begin stockpiling food, cooking gas or hand sanitizers. However, it is always prudent to take sensible precautions like the ones identified above.