The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in complete sense has created difficulties for the public and the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in city also posing a threat for the normal life. Amid this situation, residents of Dhantoli have again approached the High Court against converting hospitals situated in this densely populated area into dedicated COVID Care hospitals. Similarly, Central India Institute of Medical Sciences (CIIMS) also knocked the doors of the High Court against the decision of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to requisition all beds for COVID-19 treatment.
A division bench consisting of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Avinash Gharote issued notice to NMC and placed the matter for further hearing on September 2, in both the petitions. An application filed by Dhantoli Nagarik Mandal strongly opposed NMC’s move and even questioned the powers under the Epidemic Act to issue an order to requisition private hospitals in densely populated localities like Ramdaspeth and Dhantoli. It pointed out that the life of senior citizens would be in jeopardy due to this move. Earlier, NMC had promised to use private hospitals only as a matter of last resort and that these hospitals would be properly sealed and secured to rule out spread of COVID-19. NMC maintained that private hospitals had been asked to be in a state of readiness due to a spike in the number of patients. Adv Ashutosh Dharmadhikari and Adv Ashwin Deshpande appeared for petitioner. Additional GP Deepak Thakre (State), Adv Sudhir Puranik (NMC) represented respondents.