In a new development in the matter of the petition filed by United Nurses Association (UNA) seeking to bring back the COVID-19 affected Kerala nurses from other states, the Kerala High Court has asked the Centre and State governments to look into the petition seeking the return of nurses considering their "poor health and working conditions".
A Division Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice TR Ravi on Friday asked the Centre and State to look into the matter and slated it for further hearing on April 28, while hearing a petition filed by the United Nurses Association (UNA),
"In view of the urgency raised by petitioner, we hereby direct the respondents to look into this matter immediately as the plight of the nurses in Delhi, West Bengal, and Maharashtra is extremely critical," the court said.
The petition was raised in concerns with Malayali nurses working in alarmingly dangerous environments in other states such as Delhi, Maharashtra, and West Bengal. The petition was filed by the Kerala-based United Nurses Association (UNA), through its President, Shoby Joseph. The plea highlighted that the health of medical workers is of utmost importance to combat the deadly coronavirus. A shortage in the number of health care workers would only make it more difficult to fight the virus, the petition adds.
The plea further alleged that tests are not being prescribed by doctors to nurses showing symptoms in order to force them to work and even after days or weeks after a test is prescribed, the same is not done. "A dearth in the number of healthcare workers would only make it more difficult to fight the virus. The nurses are working in alarmingly dangerous environments which give them exposure to the COVID-19 virus," the plea said.
Further, the UNA has already given a representation to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the matter and while the online petition has been accepted, no effective steps have been taken to bring back the nurses.
(With inputs from agencies)