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Ensure senior citizens living alone during COVID-19 are taken care of, SC directs Centre
The court said that the government is obliged to take care of elderly people who are living alone by ensuring that essential goods and services are provided to them
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to ensure that steps are taken to provide care to those senior citizens who are living alone during the COVID-19 pandemic, legal news website BarandBench.com has reported.
The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy directed the Ministry to ensure that old age pension for these senior citizens is disbursed in a timely manner.
The court also recognised that senior citizens living alone during the pandemic need to be assured of timely help should they make a request for the same.
The Bench said that the government is obliged to take care of elderly people who are living alone by ensuring that essential goods and services are provided to them.
Moreover, the states have to ensure that they respond promptly as and when the senior citizens living alone make such requests.
The Centre was also asked ensure that all the safety precautions for COVID-19 are followed and that caregivers in old age homes be well equipped with masks, personal protection equipment (PPE) kits, and sanitizers.
These directions were passed by the Supreme Court in a petition filed by former Rajya Sabha MP and Senior Advocate Dr. Ashwani Kumar.
The Supreme Court had earlier taken suo motu cognizance of the fear of spread of the contagion in prisons and child care institutions and had passed certain directions for ensuring that the spread is contained in these places.