Centre, States failed to prepare for predictable second wave, says International Commission of Jurists

Follow judicial orders regarding medical care and vaccines, it says

April 29, 2021 05:27 pm | Updated 06:40 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A health department worker takes the throat swab of a person for coronavirus test in Puducherry on April 29, 2021.

A health department worker takes the throat swab of a person for coronavirus test in Puducherry on April 29, 2021.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Thursday called on the Centre and the State governments to comply with court orders regarding oxygen supply, hospital beds and medicines for COVID-19, adding that the governments had failed to prepare for the second wave of the pandemic.

“The Indian government must urgently remedy failures that have aggravated the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and led to people in the country suffering record-high rates of infection and death,” the ICJ said in a statement.

It urged the Centre and the State governments to follow judicial orders regarding medical care and vaccines.

ICJ secretary-general Sam Zarifi said: “The Indian federal and State governments failed to prepare for the predictable second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, aggravating the horrific impact of the pandemic and the avoidable tragedy of between 1,500 to over 3,000 deaths daily.”

The ICJ noted that India had reported over 2,00,000 cases every day since April 15 and 3,60,960 cases on April 27, the highest in the world.

“Many hospitals have reportedly turned away patients due to lack of space, and some hospitals have asked those they admit to sign forms accepting the risk in case of death caused by exhaustion of oxygen supply. The government’s failures have driven people to seek recourse in the courts,” the ICJ said.

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