The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government on Thursday to give wide publicity to its advisory on preventing COVID-19 infection among children.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni said the state government must consider broadcasting the dos and don’ts on regional news channels to ensure the message reaches a larger population, especially those in rural areas.
The directions came after Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed the court that the state had constituted a task force to tackle pediatric cases of COVID-19 and related ailments.
A detailed video conference was recently held between district and health officials and 65,000 ASHA workers, during which various factors, such as identifying symptoms, prevention methods, use of oximeters, were discussed, Kumbhakoni said.
The court noted that the presentation made by the state in the meeting and its subsequent advisory was “nicely done” and therefore, must be given wider publicity.
“Why not broadcast this on Marathi TV and news channels? Give wide publicity to educate mothers, all stakeholders,” the high court said.
The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) on managing resources and containing the spread of COVID-19 infection in the state.
During previous hearings, the HC said given that experts had cautioned the country to brace for the third wave of the pandemic, in which children might be the most vulnerable, the authorities must take pre-emptive steps and also strengthen health infrastructure in the state.
The court will continue hearing the PILs on June 16.
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