KATHMANDU, April 4: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the government authorities to submit the details of the medical institutions refusing medical services to suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.
A single bench of Justice Hari Phuyal on Friday directed the government authorities — the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Health and Population, and the Department of Health — to submit the details of the medical institutions ignoring such medical services relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bench also asked the authorities to submit the details of the initiatives they have taken to fight the deadly virus.
The apex court also summoned the authorities to attend the hearing on Sunday to decide whether to issue an interim order as demanded by the writ petitioner and also asked Attorney General Agni Prasad Kharel to attend the hearing on Sunday to defend the government for its initiatives it has taken to control the pandemic. The apex court was responding to a writ petition filed by advocate Mukunda Adhikari who has accused the authorities of not showing seriousness in taking measures to fight against the virus.
The apex court also asked the authorities to clarify whether the medical service of testing the coronavirus is regular; whether the test is easily available; whether those with a fever higher than 37.5 degrees are kept in isolation; whether the swab sample testing has been arranged; and whether such services are regularly provided to the patients and suspects. The apex court also underlined the basic duty of the state to provide medical services to its citizens when they are fighting against a pandemic as per Articles 35 and 52 of the constitution and Section 49 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 2019. The apex court stated that it is the duty of the state to provide medical care to its citizens when they are fighting a pandemic.
Issuing a press release, the apex court also stated that the regular services of the courts across the country will remain suspended for another week but courts will provide services under special arrangement to hear cases relating to habeas corpus as well as the petitions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.