Delhi HC directs JNU to set up COVID care centre in campus

The Delhi High Court was hearing a plea by the JNU Teachers Association, JNU Students Association and two faculty members.

Delhi HC directs JNU to set up COVID care centre in campus Jawaharlal Nehru University (source: Wikimedia Commons)
Press Trust of India | May 15, 2021 - 9:07 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed that a COVID care centre be set up inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University for immediate isolation of those residents who have tested positive as coronavirus cases inside the campus are "quite high".

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Justice Prathiba M Singh said the premises for setting up the centre be set up in consultation with the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of the area.

"This would enable such affected persons to immediately isolate and for their basic parameters to be monitored. In the creation of the isolation facility, if the services of any of the faculty members who are part of the petitioner association are required, their recommendations/ assistance may also be availed of by the COVID Task Force," the court said.

It also said that "to facilitate the monitoring of the basic parameters of those who are detected positive with COVID-19, if any paramedic/nursing staff are required, the SDM and JNU Task Force shall arrive at a consensus, as to how, the arrangement would be made for paramedic/nursing staff".

"The doctors on campus also could be empanelled for volunteering, if required, for any patient in the isolation centre," it added. The high court said that as far as patients who may need oxygen beds are concerned, the JNU Task Force may coordinate with the SDM of the area and the Delhi government to identify the facilities, "so that there is an arrangement which is put in place for residents of the campus, in case they require oxygenated beds or any ICU facility".

"Insofar as the creation of a dedicated COVID Health Centre with oxygenated beds in JNU is concerned, the feasibility, requirement and the necessity of the same may be discussed and deliberated upon by the COVID Task Force with the SDM of the concerned area and the Delhi government.

"If any tie up needs to be created with any hospital in the vicinity, the same shall also be identified and the terms and conditions thereof would also be mentioned in the status report," the court said. It further said that the number of COVID-19 patients inside the varsity campus was "quite high" and since there is no COVID care facility and the medical centre is short-staffed, if there is a sudden surge, residents there may face difficulties.

Therefore, there was a need to take further steps apart from what has already been taken by the COVID Task Force and the COVID Response Team, the court said and listed the matter for hearing on May 28.

It also said that it expects the students and the faculty association, as also the administration of JNU, to work together for the betterment of the residents and students of the campus and "shall not take any adversarial measures against each other". The directions were issued by the court after it was told that a COVID Task Force and the COVID Response Team was already working within the varsity campus.

The court was hearing a plea by the JNU Teachers Association, JNU Students Association and two faculty members, represented by advocate Abhik Chimni, claiming that their repeated requests for setting up a COVID care facility were not responded to by the varsity administration.

During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel Santosh K Tripathi and JNU's counsel, Monika Arora, told the court that there were sufficient vacant beds in various hospitals/COVID Care Centres in the city -- such as the facility at Chattarpur, which is being run with the help of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Delhi government, the Vishwa Yuva Kendra facility at Teen Murti here and a facility at the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib.

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