Whatever happened to the COVID care centre at JNU? HC pulls up Delhi govt for its "inaction and lethargy"

It was on May 13, 2021 that the court had directed that a COVID care centre be set up at JNU as the number of infections on campus was quite high 
Image of JNU campus for representational purpose | Pic: PTI
Image of JNU campus for representational purpose | Pic: PTI

The Government of Delhi was pulled up by Delhi High Court on January 13 for its "inaction and lethargy" when it comes to ensuring that the COVID care centre at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus is operational. This is despite the fact that space has been earmarked for it already.  

"Despite repeated orders passed by this court, it appears that the direction for setting up a COVID centre in JNU campus have not been followed in true letter and spirit. While the respondent no. 1 (JNU) had already earmarked a space inside the Sabarmati dormitory for setting up the centre, it is the inaction on the part of Delhi government which has led to the centre not being operational till date," the court said, as per a report in PTI.

It was while hearing a plea by JNU Teachers' Association and others that the court made the statement. The plea was regarding providing infrastructure and medical staff for the proposed COVID care centre at JNU.

It was already mentioned earlier that the administration of the university had earmarked space for the centre, but doctors and requisite infrastructure was not yet available, said the counsel for the petitioners.

It was on May 13, 2021 that the court had directed that a COVID care centre be set up at JNU as the number of infections on campus was "quite high" and it would help in immediate isolation of those residents who had tested positive. This order was issued after it was informed that a COVID Task Force and a COVID Response Team were already working inside the campus.

On May 28, 2021, the administration of JNU informed the court that the site for the centre had been identified and the information was passed on to the concerned sub-divisional magistrate and the Delhi government. It said that the Delhi government had to provide doctors, nursing staff and the required infrastructure. In response, the Delhi government said that the matter is being looked into by the health department. 

It was during the second wave of the pandemic that the JNU Teachers Association, JNU Students Association and two faculty members claimed that the university administration was not responsive to their repeated requests for the centre. 

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