Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

The city civic body has "lived up to the expectations" of the public in general and pregnant women in particular, observed the Bombay High Court on Friday. This comes after the HC was informed that over 9,000 babies were born from March till this week.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sambhaji Shinde said, "We record our satisfaction that the BMC and the state have lived up to the expectations of the people in general and the expecting ladies in particular."

The observation was made after the BMC through senior counsel Anil Sakhre informed the bench that a total of 3,905 deliveries in March, 4,169 deliveries in April and about 2, 412 deliveries till last week, have been performed.

The civic body further said that of these infants, around 359 have tested positive for Covid-19 and are being treated in special facilities. It also said that the civic body has decided to test even asymptomatic women, who are expected to deliver in the next five days.

"If any of such expecting ladies test positive for COVID-19, it has been assured that all arrangements would be made to arrange for smooth delivery in other facilities available with the BMC," CJ Datta noted in his order.

"The number of deliveries performed during the past three months provides reason to hold that the contentions of the BMC are sound and that there has not been any reported incident of negligence does not call for judicial intervention on this PIL petition," CJ Datta held.

The bench was dealing with a petition filed by one Mohiuddin Vaid, who claimed that pregnant women were not being attended to, by hospitals across the city. He had cited an incident of a pregnant woman shunted by the JJ hospital and was later compelled to deliver her child at her home with the help of an old lady.

However, the state refused of any such incident being reported in any of its hospital more particularly JJ Hospital.

The state categorically stated that there has been no slip on its part to attend to expecting ladies during these trouble times.

During the course of the hearing, the petitioner Vaid, urged the bench to direct the authorities to come up with a dedicated number only of pregnant women, to deal with during these dark hours.

At this, Sakhare submitted that the helpline 1916 is already in place for both Covid and non-Covid patients, which Al's covers pregnant women.

Having considered the submissions, CJ Datta said, "We appreciate the difficulties being encountered by the BMC. However, we hasten to add that subject to the situation improving in future, the BMC may explore the possibility to provide exclusive helpline for expecting ladies."

"We, therefore, dispose of this petition expressing hope and trust that the state and BMC shall continue in its efforts to ensure that expecting ladies are well attended to even in these testing times and that maximum care is taken so that not only the mother but the new born child does not face difficulties till such time normalcy is restored," CJ Datta added.

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