The High Court on Monday asked the government to ensure COVID-19 test of pregnant women on a priority basis.
The court asked the health secretary, the director generals of the health services and the Institute of epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, the registrar of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council and the director of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital to comply with the directive.
The online bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim issued the directive after hearing online a public interest litigation writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Tanvir Ahmed.
Tanvir’s petition cited a number of cases involving pregnant women who died after they had been denied COVID-19 test and treatment.
He referred to a pregnant woman who gave birth to a baby on a standing van on the emergency unit of the Satkhira general Hospital on May 1 as she was denied admission.
The incident shocked the nation after it was circulated on social media.
Tanvir also testified that a COVID-19 suspect pregnant woman Jhuma died on May 21 as she was denied test and treatment by all hospitals on the way to the Dhaka from Gazipur.
On May 26, a pregnant woman was denied admition at Shadullapur upazila health complex in Gaibandha, the petition said.
Lastly, on May 31, a 19-year-old pregnant woman died of COVID-19 symptoms as she was refused treatment even after she got admission at Bogura Mohammad Ali Hospital, Tanvir submitted.
Earlier, a seven-month pregnant lady was taken to Bogura Shaheed Ziaur Rahaman Medical College Hospital around 8.00pm, but the doctors referred her to Mohammad Ali hospital as her condition deteriorated, he said.
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