Delhi HC directs govt to take care of pregnant women

COVID-19: HC directs for Centre, Delhi govt to take care of pregnant women

COVID-19 pandemic has turned upside down the treatment schedule of all other patients with hospitals even turning away pregnant women.

This issue was raised before the Delhi High Court in a PIL where the Union and the Delhi governments agreed to issue necessary advisory and setting up of helpline for such women. 

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad directed that both the governments should work in tandem to make sure that no barriers are faced by pregnant ladies and their family members residing in hot spots during the lockdown.

"The helpline number which is proposed to be set up, for assisting senior citizens in Delhi, shall also be made available for pregnant ladies. The helpline number shall be publicised adequately in the newspapers and the social media as also through the Delhi Police, wherever possible," the bench said.

In the PIL, Sama, a resource group for Women and Health, highlighted denial of healthcare, and more specifically, denial of delivery and childbirth services to pregnant women in Delhi and the barriers faced by them and their families in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown declared by the central and the state government.

The Union government's counsel stated that the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare included essential services like reproductive and neonatal healthcare services to pregnant women, besides prevention and management of communicable, deceases, treatment of chronic deceases to avoid complications and for addressing other emergencies.

The Delhi government, for its part, said a sufficient number of Asha workers and ANMs, (Auxiliary Nursing and Mid-wives) will be made available in their respective areas so that they can reach out to the pregnant ladies and particularly those who are in the high-risk category for a follow-up. Adequate assistance will be provided to pregnant women, particularly, in the last trimester for the visit to the hospital for pre-delivery, delivery, and post-delivery.