SC seeks response of Centre, states on treatment of Covid patients, handling of bodies 

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday termed as “horrific” the state of affairs in Delhi hospitals with bodies of the dead being stacked next to COVID-19 patients, and sought responses from the Centre and different states on its plea taking suo motu (on its own) cognisance on the treatment being meted out to patients and the handling of the bodies.

Hospitals are not giving due care to keeping of bodies and not even informing family members about deaths, as a result they are unable to attend the last rites, the top court said.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah also issued notices to the Centre, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. “The situation in Delhi is horrendous, horrific and pathetic,” the bench said during the hearing.

It said that the guidelines of central government are not being followed and directed the Chief Secretaries of the states to take stock of patient management system and submit status report regarding hospital staff and patient care.

The top court had on Thursday taken suo motu cognizance of reports of improper handling of COVID-19 patients and undignified disposal of the victims’ bodies in the country.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Bobde had taken note of the situation relating to the handling of COVID-19 patients and bodies of the victims and assigned the case to a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan.

The top court titled the case as “Proper Treatment of COVID-19 Patients and Dignified Handling of Dead Bodies in Hospitals etc.” and listed the matter for Friday. Reports have been appearing in the media on alleged improper handling of COVID-19 patients and bodies of the victims in hospitals.