Conference on ‘International Health Law during Covid 19-A Perspective’

Aligarh: Deliberations on public and global health law and ethics in response to the Covid19 pandemic took place at the International Virtual Conference on ‘International Health Law during Covid 19-A Perspective’ organised by The Law Society, Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

In the keynote address, Dr Aruj Qayum, Senior Consultant and Senior Lecturer, King’s College, London (UK) shed light on how various countries responded differently at the start of the pandemic.

He spoke on the effect on physical, emotional, spiritual and social health of people due to the social distancing measures, restrictions in movement, and implementation of lockdowns.

“Since, the whole humanity got affected by the pandemic, stress on health laws came into focus,” said Dr Aruj adding that health care is a basic human right and citizens of all countries should be provided with the best medical facilities.

He further spoke on measures designed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the workforce and health services through implementation of new laws in the United Kingdom.

Inaugurating the conference, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor pointed out that international laws are now more important than ever as the pandemic has severely hit the world economy, education system and health.

He emphasised that even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) appointed a committee to investigate the origins of the virus in China, but the international community is not sure on how much of reliable information will come out of an opaque system in China.

He urged the legal community to extend support for the vaccine development.

The Chief Guest of the conference, Dr Julie Lord (Consultant Pediatrician, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, London, UK) shared experience of providing health care after the coronavirus spread.

She discussed the health facility system in UK, presented a timeline of the pandemic and gave description of cases after the lockdown relaxations.

Dr Julie also spoke on how the mental health of children continues to get affected since the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Presiding over the Conference, Prof M Shakeel Ahmed Samdani (Dean, Faculty of Law) said that the Indian Constitution incorporates provisions guaranteeing everyone’s right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

He explained why the Supreme Court in India has widened the scope of Article 21, which ensures protection of life and personal liberty.

He quoted recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, which suggested declaration of the Right to Health as a fundamental right.

Dr Abdul R Moodambail (Senior Consultant, Doha, Qatar) discussed pandemic policy responses by government law enforcing agencies in Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries.

Prof Zahiruddin welcomed the guests, while Prof Wasim Ali extended the vote of thanks. Mohammad Nasir moderated the question and answer session.

Dr Gaurav Varshney and Abdullah Samdani introduced the guests. Ayesha Nasir Alavi and Lyba Fatima conducted the programme.

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