MUMBAI: In a significant judgment, Bombay high court recently directed the state and BMC to consider getting private ambulances and use the cab aggregator, Uber to ferry patients during the Covid-19 pandemic to hospitals.
“Insufficiency or inadequacy of ambulance for transporting patients of either category, Covid and non-Covid, seems to have posed a significant challenge during these difficult times,” said the HC, adding, “it is always open to the state to requisition certain vehicles and to keep it available for transporting patients to hospitals/care centers, whose physical condition may not require an ambulance.”
The direction was given while recently disposing a clutch of eight public interest litigation filed by NGOs and activists who sought judicial intervention on deteriorating healthcare services and hardships faced by patients due to the lockdown.
HC bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Amjad Sayed had dealt with a slew of issues before saying, “as submitted by Mumbai’s civic counsel Anil Sakhare
Uber services can be utilized, to take care of a part of the problem — of locating and requisitioning ambulances”.
Advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni said out of 79 labs, 44 are run by state and provide free testing and said criteria for setting up labs depends on cases in that district. The HC also expressing its “anxiety” had directed state to “strictly in consonance with ICMR guidelines “waste no time in setting up” testing laboratories in each district, if such facility is required.



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