Mumbai, May 12: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Wednesday ordered the Maharashtra government and also the BMC to spell out on an affidavit about the steps they propose to undertake to contain the spread of Covid19 virus among children and teenagers.
This comes while the bench was hearing a clutch of petitions pertaining to Covid Crisis in the state owing to shortage of essentials like Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Oxygen, beds, ventilators etc.
During the course of the hearing, the judges noted that experts had recently cautioned the authorities about the third wave of the pandemic, which would be more dangerous.
"Experts have said children would be more vulnerable. We want to know what steps are you (authorities) taking to strengthen the existing infrastructure for children's health," CJ Datta said.
Appearing for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) senior counsel Anil Sakhare submitted an affidavit that had details of Covid cases among children, teenagers and even pregnant women.
"Since last year till May this year, a total of 11,000 children under the age of 10 years got infected. There were at least 17 deaths," Sakhare submitted.
Further, Sakhare submitted that there were around 33 deaths of children under the age of 18 years, since last year.
"Fortunately, there has been no deaths in these age groups this month," CJ said while perusing the data.
"However, you must ensure that the pandemic doesn't impact children much. You must consult experts, paediatricians and strengthen the existing health infrastructure,"CJ Datta said.
Justice Kulkarni suggested that the civic body can reserve certain hospitals only for paediatric use and for children alone.
"Do not lose sight of the fact that children cannot stay in hospitals without their mothers or other caregivers. Children should be allowed to be with them. Thus, tell us what are your plans on this aspect as well," CJ Datta told the BMC while adjourning the matter for further hearing till next Wednesday.