NHRC re-emphasizes expeditious implementation of its 2.0 Covid-19 Advisory by the Centre and States (11.05.2021)

New Delhi- 11th May,2021

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India, today again emphasized that the Centre and States need to put their acts together in order to meet the immediacy of response by setting up universally functional COVID-19 dashboards for real time information in public domain on the availability of hospital beds, oxygen, critical care medicines and devices. It has also asked for setting up 24X7 functional toll-free help lines and fixing the prices of Covid treatment resources.

The Commission, appreciating and taking a note of the ground realities and challenges, as also reported in the media, related to the management of the second wave of Covid –19, has recommended to the Centre and States, through its 2.0 Covid Advisory, that they need to take immediate action against those hoarding and black-marketing essential medicines, oxygen cylinders and critical care devices. It has also asked them to ramp up the production, transportation and distribution of essential resources.

The Commission has sought action taken report within four weeks on the recommendations contained in its Advisory 2.0, already sent to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories by the Secretary General, NHRC on 4th May,2021.

Some of the other important recommendations in the 2.0 Advisory are:

Any COVID-19 patient who approaches any public health facility should receive the treatment free of cost;

Functional and effective Help-Desks should be set up in all public and private hospitals for preliminary check-up;

There should be universal coverage and non-discriminatory pricing of COVID vaccines in all health facilities of the country, and if feasible, vaccination should be made free for everyone irrespective of private or public health establishment along with adequate testing facilities for Covid-19 and timely reports;

Management of crematoriums and burial grounds should be improved, using electric crematorium and App based interventions to be promoted among stakeholders;

The protection of Rights of COVID warriors engaged should be ensured and the body of a deceased Covid patient should be treated with dignity and handed over to the family ensuring all Covid protocols;

Practical time restrictions should be imposed for buying essential commodities during lockdowns.

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