By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the Union of India and Delhi government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to treat persons with disabilities on a priority basis and to make special provisions for them for administering the vaccine for COVID-19.
The Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh today issued notice to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Government of NCT of Delhi and slated the matter for May 24.
The petitioners, Mohammad Faisal Nawaz and Meenu Mani, disabled persons and social activists through advocate Siddharth Seem sought direction to the respondents to provide coronavirus vaccination to all consenting persons with disabilities along with their caretakers at their own home free of charge and also to establish special counters at all Covid vaccination centres dedicated for persons with disabilities that should be accessible.
The plea stated that persons with disabilities are more vulnerable to contracting the virus, as they are unable to follow measures such as social distancing, if they need caretakers, or wearing a mask, such as for persons with cerebral palsy, autism or any developmental disability.
Secondly, persons with disabilities face more severe symptoms and a higher mortality rate due to COVID-19 compared to other persons. Thirdly, persons with disabilities depend upon medical assistance which has been strained during the pandemic and therefore they suffer from poorer health during the pandemic, whether or not they are infected, plea read.
The petitioners also sought direction to the respondents to proactively contact persons with disabilities as per the record maintained by the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) constituted under Section 25 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to register consenting persons for the vaccination, and to update the records if they are not updated. Make provision for persons with disabilities and their caretakers to register for the coronavirus vaccination through a missed call to ensure that persons without digital access can register for the vaccine, plea pleaded. (ANI)