Decided on August 24,2020

High Court Of Meghalaya Bar Association Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


H.S.THANGKHIEW,J. - (1.) Matter taken up via Video Conferencing.
(2.) Learned Senior counsel Mr. S.P. Mahanta, and Mr. K. Paul, learned counsel, President and Vice President of the Meghalaya High Court Association, on behalf of the petitioners, Mr. A. Kumar, learned Advocate General, with Mr. A.H. Kharwanlang, learned GA for the respondent No. 3 to 7 and Ms. A. Paul, learned ASG on behalf of the other respondents are present.
(3.) Affidavits on behalf of the respondents No. 3 to 7 and respondents 12 and 13 have been placed on record and the same have been perused by the Court. By order dated 30.07.2020, three issues had been taken up for consideration, namely calling for status report on the death of a baby in Ganesh Das Hospital on 28.07.2020, the testing and screening for COVID- 19 by private hospitals and the feasibility and possibility of the setting up of a Plasma Bank. As per the affidavit of the respondents No. 3 to 7, on the question of the unfortunate incident of the death of the baby in Ganesh Das Hospital, it is noted that the State has constituted an Expert Committee on 04.08.2020 to be chaired by the Director of Health Services, (MI) to examine the matter and submit the report within two weeks. Learned Advocate General submits that the report has not yet been received and undertakes to place the same before this Court on the next date. On the next point with regard to testing by private hospitals, it is stated in the affidavit that H.G. Robert Hospital, Bethany Hospital and Woodland Hospital are conducting Antigen Test and that Nazareth Hospital has started the CBNAAT (RT-PCR based) testing facility. The efficacy of the Rapid Antigen Test is not 100% accurate as has been reported and also recorded by the High Court of Delhi in its order dated 27.07.2020 in WP(C) No. 3031/ 2020 (Rakesh Malhotra v. Government of National Capital Territory of India and Ors.). The gold standard test it seems which is affirmed by the Experts, is the RT-PCR Test which correctly indicates infection if any. In this situation, therefore and keeping the imminent possibility of the occurrence of a community spread of the disease in mind especially in Shillong city, it would therefore be expedient, if along the lines of Nazareth Hospital, that other private health institutions also are equipped with this facility. On the third issue, that is the establishment of a Plasma Bank, it is submitted, and stated in the affidavit that the same has been put in motion at NEIGRIHMS, which has already procured an 'APHAERESIS' machine which is required for separation of blood components to start a Plasma Bank, but the Institute is awaiting the engineer for installation of the machine and the license to operate the Plasma Bank. It is therefore expected that the entire process of establishment of the Plasma Bank be completed at the earliest. Mr. K. Paul, who is also the standing counsel for NEIGRIHMS is directed to apprise this Court on the status on the next date fixed.;

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