Case BriefsCOVID 19Foreign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan- Taking suo motu notice of the measures taken by the Federal Government and Provincial Governments to tackle the havoc wreaked by Covid-19 pandemic, the full Judge Bench of Gulzar Ahmad, CJ, and Ijaz ul Ahsan, Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, JJ., laid emphasis on the creation of a legislation at the national level to combat the emergencies and situation arising due to the spread of Covid-19.

Perusing the reports filed by the National Health Services and Research Centre (NHSRC), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) etc. the Court analysed took stock of the measures taken by these departments to tackle the current crisis. The Court further noted the submission made by Khalid Javed Khan, (Attorney General of Pakistan) who stated that National Coordination Committee (NCC) made a unanimous policy dated 01-06-2020 for dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The Court made further observations such as- cases of violation of citizens’ fundamental rights by the Executive; unavailability of safety kits for sanitary workers; and recent infestation and attack by locusts crops and agricultural fields.

For the aforementioned observations, the Court directed the Federal Government, the Provincial Governments, the Cantonment Boards and other concerned authorities to ensure that sanitary workers are not made to work beyond their call of duty and the Government instead of jeopardising their health, should work tirelessly to ensure that safety kits are made available to the sanitary workers and effective measures should be taken to protect their health and life. The Court also directed the NDMA to file a report regarding all the laboratories which are operating all over Pakistan and are providing testing facility for COVID-19. Vis-à-vis the locusts’ attack on the crops, the Court directed the concerned authorities to provide details as to the number of helicopters that have been deployed to spray insecticide over the affected areas. [Suo Motu Action Regarding Combating the Pandemic of Coronavirus (Covid-19), 2020 SCC OnLine Pak SC 1 , decided on 08-06-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Madras High Court: A Division Bench of N. Kirubakaran and R. Hemalatha, JJ. while hailing and appreciating the round the clock service of Corona warriors asked the authorities concerned to subject the doctors, health workers, sanitisation workers, policemen  to regular testing.

Petitions have been filed pertaining to seeking

  • direction to respondent to provide and ensure medical assistance irrespective of all COVID-19 affected patients at free of cost
  • Direction to respondent 2 to constitute a State Level Executive Committee to assist the State Government/State Disaster Management Authority to perform its functions in preventing & controlling the COVID-19 and constitute a District level Disaster Management Committee to prevent and control the COVID -19 and direct the respondent 2 to notify and approve the ‘COVID-19’ isolated wards in Government & Private Hospitals with free of costs for treatment and testing and handling all suspected persons who arrived from foreign country 01.03.2020 onwards, keep them into special quarantine camps.
  • provide personal protective equipments (PPE) especially for doctors, nurses and hospital staffs in COVID-19 wards
  • to quarantine a section among the workforce of essential services for future catastrophe of COVID-19.

Petitioners counsel submitted that, so far no Community kitchens have been opened. Also sufficient number of masks and PPEs are not available.

Additional Advocate General on behalf of the respondents submitted the number of PPEs and masks along with testing kits available, adding to the said he submitted that supply is regularly coming and numbers are increasing.

With regard to non-supply of food, it was submitted that, Rs 1000 is being given to the people holding ration card and free ration and groceries is also being provided. Thus, nobody is suffering for want of food.

Another point submitted by petitioner’s counsel was that, about 45,000 persons including 100 Doctors and 3500 Para Medical Staffs have registered for voluntary service, their services are not being utilized. In the said regard, AAG submitted that he would verify the same and inform the Court in next hearing.

Court concerned with health condition of Doctors, Health Workers, Sanitary Workers and policemen stated that they should be given break sufficiently.

They should also be subjected to regular testing by the Authorities.

Bench stated that,

Court hails and appreciates the round the clock service rendered by Doctors, Health Workers, Sanitary workers and Policemen in the fight against dangerous pandemic which is threatening the entire humanity.

Thus, Court hopes and expects the respective government would appreciate the warriors and their services with increase in their salaries. Matter to be listed in 2 weeks.[S. Jimraj Milton v. Union of India,  2020 SCC OnLine Mad 916, decided on 09-04-2020]