The court observed that only a few privileged people who belong to the higher economic strata may have the facilities for isolation in their homes.
“We are of the view that before directing a person to stay under home isolation, the surveillance teams constituted by the government should first see/verify whether the family has sufficient rooms and other facilities in the house where the infected person can be isolated, and if only such facilities are found, the person should be directed to stay under home isolation,” a Bench of Justices Songkhupchung Serto and S Hukato Swu ordered in its suo motu case on Covid-19.
In the event a person is kept under home isolation, the bench added, the surveillance team should stick a notice on the gate of the house stating that the inmate(s) of the house are under isolation so that people may avoid visiting them for such a period as may be required.
“The surveillance team should ensure that none of the inmates of such houses ventures out till such time as directed by them. Medical needs and other needs of such families should be the responsibility of the government. This comes with a caveat- for those persons who can afford, the government need not take the responsibility of their needs except the medical advice,” the court stated.
On the issue of Covid-19 testing, the Bench stated that testing must be done free of cost. It opined that just like random sample testing, fees should not be charged even from persons who come on their own for testing. It also issued directions for ramping-up testing facilities in the state.
The Bench also expressed dissatisfaction at the figures of vaccination drive. The Bench directed that vaccines should be available at the earliest and that the vaccination drive should be carried out on a war footing so that people can be vaccinated at the earliest.
It further directed that vaccination days for the age group of 18 to 44 years may be increased so that whatever vaccine is available may be given to persons who come forward at the earliest.