Bombay seeks information regarding BMC conditions from Maharashtra Government

by Web Desk | Published: 27-04-2021

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday ruled that the bodies of COVID-19 patients could not be kept for hours for cremation.  He asked the Maharashtra government and the BMC to report on the condition of cemeteries in the state and in Mumbai.  A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni said there was a waiting period before the bodies were cremated and the relatives of the victims were forced to stand in queues outside the cemetery.


The bodies cannot lie like this for hours. They are gods," the court said. The High Court said the body should not be released from the hospital if there is a waiting period in the cemetery. Justice Kulkarni quoted an ambulance as 22 bodies of Covid-19 victims were being loaded into a cemetery in Maharashtra's Beed district. 


Oxygen supply, availability of beds, and other problems.  Simil Purohit, counsel appearing for the petitioner, told the court that tokens were being distributed in the cemeteries. There must be some dignity in death.  The priest argued that lying around the bodies would increase the spread of the virus.


The court noted the arguments and media reports point to the basic reality of cemeteries. The condition of some cemeteries where the kilns do not work.  Authorities should bring in some arrangements for burying the bodies or set up alternative sites, ”the court said. The High Court directed the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file affidavits on April 29 informing the court about the condition of cemeteries in the state and Mumbai. The court directed the Central government to submit an affidavit for the distribution and sanction of rendezvir vaccines in Maharashtra. The Central Government will inform the amount of Rendezvous allotted. 


Maharashtra still leads in COVID-19 cases, “the court said. BJP MP Sujay Vikhe Patil has sought the Centre's response to the incident in which bottles of Rendesivir were bought from Delhi and distributed in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The MP flew 10,000 bottles of Rem DCV from Delhi to Ahmednagar.  Isn't this money for private distribution?  How is this possible?  Delhi itself is in crisis and there is a shortage of Remdacivir vaccines, “the court said. Chief Justice Dutta said "we will take action" if the court finds in the future any person who buys and distributes Rendezvir vaccines privately from companies. "There should be an equal distribution of available resources. Everyone should have access to it," the court said. The bench also directed BMC to submit an affidavit explaining how the helpline number 1916 and other COVID-19 battle room numbers are functioning. Purohit told the court that ICU beds were not available in Mumbai.  

The bench asked him to call the 1916 helpline number.  When the priest called the number and asked for a patient's ICU bed, the operator gave him the battle room number for the Worley Division. The war room number operator asked the priest to send the patient's COVID-19 report. BMC lawyer Anil Sakhare said it was an ongoing process and a patient's report was being examined to see if admission to the hospital was required. Sakhare told the court that BMC's dashboard on the availability of beds in hospitals is updated every two hours.


The High Court said it was not blaming anyone at this stage but the authorities should make full use of their resources. "We can now think positively and move forward with a positive approach," the court said. Sakhare told the court that the situation in Mumbai was improving as the number of covid-19 cases was declining and that oxygen and Remdsivirs were available. A bench of the Indian Medical Association (Pune Division) granted leave to intervene.  He said the association could submit proposals by April 29.