The court asked the government to ensure that none is deprived of medical facilities in connection with Covid-19.
The Patna High Court has asked the Bihar government to give an account of the deaths that happened in villages due to the COVID-19 second wave. The court also asked the Nitish Kumar government to submit the status of about 40 lakh migrants who had returned to the state during the first wave last year. The court said that more than 40 lakh residents returned home during the first wave and asked the government to furnish data of how many of them returned from the state to earn their livelihoods. It also asked sought data of people who returned during the second wave of the pandemic. Taking cognizance of the dead bodies found floating in the river Ganga, the court asked the government to submit a detailed report on the Buxar incident.
The court made the observations while hearing a PIL. A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar also asked the state government to submit a detailed report on measures taken to tackle the Covid crisis, especially in the rural areas. The court asked for a district-wise report on the deaths.
Highlighting the importance and significance of shifting focus to rural areas, the court asked the government to ensure that none is deprived of medical facilities in connection with Covid-19.
The bench said it is common knowledge that in the rural areas, especially the illiterate, marginalised and deprived ones are neither aware nor do they have the will to complete the COVID-19 related formalities as relatives immediately perform the last rites as per the prevalent practices.
“It shall be the duty of the Mukhiya/ Up-Mukhiya/ Pramukh/ Up-Pramukh/ Adhayaksha/ Up-Adayaksha to ensure that all deaths taking place within their respective jurisdictions are immediately reported and certainly not later than 24 hours,” said the court.
The court also asked the authorities to ascertain exact information on the cause of death and added that it won’t hesitate in issuing directions for the removal of those public representatives who fail to discharge their obligations.
The court said that medical facilities right from testing up to isolation must exist in the rural areas.