PIL plea in HC to use private colleges, hostels as isolation wards

PIL plea in HC to use private colleges, hostels as isolation wards

Legal CorrespondentCHENNAI, APRIL 02, 2020 00:28 ISTUPDATED: APRIL 02, 2020 00:28 IST

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the State government to convert all private colleges as well as hostels across the State into isolation wards for those with symptoms of COVID-19.

Advocate A.P. Suryaprakasam has filed the case, through his counsel M.L. Ravi, and pleaded that some of those colleges could also be used as temporary shelters for migrant workers and the street dwellers who had suffered the most due to the pandemic.

According to the petitioner, hospital space alone would not be sufficient to quarantine hundreds of people in the State. It was therefore, the Union Ministry of Railways itself had permitted use of even rail coaches as isolation wards.

In such circumstances, utilising private college buildings and their hostels would easily add another 50,000 beds to quarantine those with symptoms, the petitioner said and added that there might not be any problem in obtaining permission since 90% of the colleges were run by politicians.

“They will gladly accept their social responsibility and accept to convert their buildings as emergency hospitals,” the petitioner said and sought for a direction to the government to accommodate the homeless too in such places and provide free food to them.

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