A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the State Police Chief to ensure that sufficient personnel are deployed to see that there is no crowding at various vaccination centres.
The Bench comprising Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice Kauser Edappagath passed the directive while initiating a suo motu case in connection with news reports about overcrowding at some of the vaccination centres.
The court asked the police chief not to use force but “persuade” persons at the vaccination centres from flouting the Covid-19 appropriate behaviours. It also directed the State government to inform about the steps taken to prevent overcrowding at the vaccination centres.
The court observed that if uncontrolled crowding was allowed at vaccination centres, the very purpose of vaccination would boomerang since what was intended to be a prophylactic exercise would perhaps become super-spreading events.
KV Sohan, State Attorney, pointed out that the government had taken steps to avoid overcrowding by stopping spot registration except for second doses and making online registration mandatory. The State was in the process of administering 2.43 lakh doses of vaccine doses as of now. Besides, 4.75 lakh doses were expected to arrive in one or two days. Another 25 lakh doses of Covaxin and 75 doses of Covishield were ordered for the month of May. He also submitted that Kerala was one of the States where not a single dose of vaccines had been wasted.
The court also took up the petition alleging overcharging by the private hospitals for Covid treatment. When the petition came up for hearing, the State Attorney submitted that the government had already initiated action to ensure rationalisation of prices for Covid treatment in private hospitals.
The court observed that the government should address rationalisation of prices under two heads. The first is the charge of hospital bed/room and second was the cost chargeable for nurses and doctors on a daily basis. The expenses and charges incurred for various medical machinery including oxygenerators and ventilators should also be kept in mind.
The court adjourned the petition for further hearing at a special sitting on May 6.