The Uttarakhand Supreme Court has published a request for a priority Covid-19 vaccination for people with disabilities aged 18 and over, regardless of the category or type of disability.
A division bank made up of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Judge Alok Kumar Verma has ordered both the central and state governments to submit their affidavits by June 21st.
The development comes in a PIL submitted by a DK Joshi who has a benchmark disability due to complete blindness.
His attorney, attorney Singdha Tiwari, has argued that touch and close contact are two ways the virus spreads quickly. The COVID prevention protocols require strict preventive measures in addition to vaccination, a distance of two meters, frequent hand washing and wearing masks. However, people with disabilities and their carers need priority vaccination because their disabilities may prevent them from maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks, or avoiding contact.
“The vast majority of people with disabilities either rely on tactile modes on a daily basis due to their disabilities (in the case of the visually impaired) or may not be able to wear masks or who are unable to maintain physical distance due to drooling and related problems ( people with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities) or need a constant carer (for certain people with disabilities with high support needs) are groups of people at risk per se The only way to ensure that people with disabilities are saved from COVID 19 is to ensure that all people with disabilities, along with their carers, are vaccinated using their UDID cards or disability certificates, ”the petition says.
It is argued that Article 25 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006, obliges all States parties to recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the highest standard of health attainable without discrimination on the basis of disability. They are also obliged to take all appropriate measures to ensure “access for people with disabilities to health services”.
It is therefore strongly recommended that special camps be organized at the district level to vaccinate people with benchmark disabilities and their carers during the third vaccination phase under the supervision of the district disability officer. The plea also seeks instructions for conducting a door-to-door vaccination campaign.
Deputy Attorney General Rakesh Thapliyal appeared for the Union of India. Chief Standing Counsel CS Rawat appeared for the state
The matter is now set for the June 23 hearing.
Last month, the Karnataka Supreme Court ordered the state government to develop a system or mechanism that would make vaccination of Covid-19 a priority for people with benchmark disabilities. The Madras Supreme Court also asked the Tamil Nadu government to take similar steps. Petitions on the matter are also pending in the Supreme Courts of Allahabad and Orissa.
Also read: “Early Decisions Could Have Saved Lives”: Bombay High Court Shares Center With Door-to-Door Vaccination
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