NEW DELHI: “It is a kind of war (against Covid-19). You do not dissatisfy soldiers during a war. So, travel the extra mile to make the corona warriors feel secure,” the Supreme Court said on Friday after complaints from doctors about lack of proper lodging and
and non-payment of salaries, both in government and private healthcare sectors.
A PIL by a doctor, Arushi Jain, questioned the rationale behind the
new quarantine rules
for doctors and healthcare workers. Senior advocate K V Vishwanath said the new rules provided for institutional quarantine facilities for those with
high risk exposure
while treating Covid-19 patients and the rest were asked to undergo home quarantine. He said doctors and
treating Covid-19 patients could not take the risk of going back to their families for fear of getting them infected.
The petitioner, through Mithu Jain, had also said that the government must provide proper lodging near the place of work so that health workers could keep their family members safe.
A bench of
Justices Ashok Bhushan
, Sanjay K Kaul and M R Shah told solicitor general
that in a war-like situation, it would be counter-productive to keep corona warriors dissatisfied. “It has come in newspaper reports that many doctors are not paid salaries. In some places, doctors are on strike. You cannot be disrespecting soldiers."
The court further said, “In Delhi, doctors are not paid salaries. This issue should not engage courts. You (the government) should do it. It is a matter of concern. You should do something to mitigate the concern of doctors and health workers. If the corona warriors become half-hearted in their approach while treating Covid-19 patients, what will happen?"
The SG agreed and said doctors and health workers were precious assets during the
. He assured the court that the petitioner’s suggestions would be placed before the ICMR director general.