The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that it would extend its policy of launching door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination campaigns for the elderly, disabled persons and bedridden and unable to visit vaccination centres, within a week. Will finalize inside.
State counsel Geeta Shastri presented a draft policy before a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni.
Shastri said the state has constituted a special task force comprising experts and stakeholders to formulate such a policy.
He said though the details of the policy are yet to be made public, it will be finalized within a week and will be placed before the court.
The bench accepted Shastri’s arguments.
It was hearing a bunch of PILs, including a petition filed by advocate Dhriti Kapadia, seeking door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination for people above the age of 75 and specially-abled or handicapped persons. was demanded.
During the last hearing, the High Court observed that the Center had not imposed any restriction on the states to conduct door-to-door vaccination for the elderly and disabled citizens.
It had also said that the central government policy or standard operating procedure (SOP) on vaccination which did not provide for door-to-door drive was only an advisory.
On Tuesday, the bench said, “Prima facie, we are of the opinion that the task force is moving in the right direction. However, we leave it to the task force to include such measures which are beneficial to the health of the elderly.” . and citizens with disabilities.”
“We hope that when we consider this PIL further, the state will be in a position to show us the accepted guidelines,” the court said.
The bench also directed the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to furnish municipal ward-wise details of the vaccines to be given to the mentally ill and homeless people in the city.
The direction came on another PIL filed by advocate Sarosh Bharucha, seeking court’s intervention to ensure greater access to vaccines to citizens.
Bharucha pointed out that the current state guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination do not cover those who were mentally ill and those without a legal guardian, and therefore, not in a position to give informed consent to receive the vaccine. Were.
The HC asked state and municipal authorities to respond on the issue by next week.
“How many homeless or mentally ill persons have been taken care of in each ward of the city? We are asking you (the state) to provide them food, shelter, vaccination, everything,” the high court said.
“Your affidavit is absolutely silent on this issue. We are a very complex society. No one can be ignored or neglected,” the HC said.
The court will next hear the above PIL on June 29.
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