Consider package for lives lost during pandemic: HC to Meghlaya Govt. on deaths of newborns, mothers
SHILLONG, MARCH 26: The Meghalaya High Court on Friday suggested the State Government to consider a package in cases where lives may have been lost due to the want of medical facilities during the pandemic.
A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee made the observation while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the deaths of 877 newborns and 61 mothers in Meghalaya during the pandemic.
“It may also do well for the State to consider some form of package for those cases where lives may have been lost due to want of medical facilities at the relevant point of time”, the Court said.
The Court directed the State Government to file a comprehensive report when the matter is heard again on March 31.
Advocate General Amit Kumar, appearing for the State Government, told the Court that the fear of getting infected by Coronavirus may have prevented most people from stepping out and seeking medical assistance when necessary.
He said it may not be accurate to suggest that since all hospitals were prepared for treating only COVID-19 patients, would-be mothers or mothers with infants-in-arms or neo-natals requiring urgent medical attention were turned away.
As many as 877 newborn babies and 61 mothers have died as pregnant women refused to get admitted to hospitals for institutional delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic due to fears of contracting the disease, the Meghalaya Government has informed the NHRC recently.
The Meghalaya Government made the statement in the action taken report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after the latter registered a case over the high number of maternal and newborn deaths in the State during the pandemic. (PTI)