‘Buildings must have facilities like ramps and elevators’
The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu government to establish special counters for the differently abled at all government-run COVID-19 vaccination centres. It also ordered that the buildings have facilities, such as ramps and elevators, and that every effort be made to establish the special counters as early as possible.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy issued the directions while disposing of a public interest litigation petition filed by polio survivor Meenakshi Balasubramanian of Chennai. The litigant had said the differently abled were highly vulnerable, running the risk of contracting COVID-19 at least six times more than others.
Earlier, State Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayanan informed the Bench that Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan had written to the Centre on March 17 seeking permission to vaccinate the differently abled on priority. In that letter, the present case had also been mentioned. However, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had not replied so far, he said.
Mr. Jayaprakash Narayanan also said the State government would form special queues for the differently abled at all vaccination centres if the court directed it to do so. He said the State had only a small percentage of the differently abled people, and hence there would not be any impediment to their vaccination on priority.
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