Agartala: The High Court of Tripura has sought a detailed report from the state administration on the preparedness to tackle the COVID-19 situation on Monday.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice AA Kureshi and Justice S Talapatra sought the details after the state government filed an affidavit on May 8 against a suo-motu case registered last year following the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

The High Court of Tripura heard advocate general SS Dey and amicus curiae, Somik Dey, on Monday after the state filed an affidavit giving details of the availability of medical, paramedical staff, equipment and other essential supplies to treat COVID-19 patients. 

The High Court division bench observed that the number of testings per day has increased considerably as compared to the previous peak and hoped that this rate of testing shall continue till it is necessary.

The bench further sought some more details and ordered to furnish the same before the next date of hearing on May 17.

The questions include if there is any scientific model available with the state and if, based on a model, it would be possible to project the peak requirement of hospital beds with a break up of those required with oxygen and without oxygen.

The court also sought information on the availability of the total number of such beds with and without oxygen supply, maximum oxygen demand in terms of units/quantity at the peak and oxygen availability with the state administration, and the source of continuous supply of such oxygen. It also inquired about the availability of Remdesivir doses and other life-saving drugs including steroids, availability of equipment for treating serious cases of coronavirus shall also be stated, if the state hospitals have any special arrangements for paediatric corona patients and whether any such specialised dedicated ward or arrangement is necessary or would be required in coming days.

Further, the court said the state provided data about the persons already vaccinated with the two dosages. The affidavit also states that the state government decided to vaccinate the entire population above 18 free of cost.

“The affidavit shall state the percentage of those who qualify for vaccination have already been vaccinated the first time and the second time as also when shall the persons above the age of 18 but below the age of 45 shall have excess to vaccination and rough timelines within which the State administration expects to cover a substantial portion of the population which is eligible for such vaccination. The affidavit shall also state exact doses of vaccination currently available with the State administration and further expected availability from time to time,” the Court said.

The division bench further said that the state administration had already initiated steps to recruit 164 doctors.

Amicus curiae Somik Deb pointed out that presently, several such positions are vacant not only of medical but also the paramedical staff.

The Court also observed that the state government has recently decided to appoint new doctors through Tripura Public Service Commission (TPSC) to deal with the situation.

“Filling up these vacancies through a regular selection process in consultation with TPSC is bound to take considerable time. We wonder if the State administration would like to consider making ad-hoc appointments from out of eligible willing candidates by applying some uniform and fair yardstick for ad-hoc selection such as performance of the candidate in the qualifying examination, making it clear that as soon as regularly selected candidates are available, the ad-hoc appointees shall make way for such regular selectees,” the division bench observed.

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