Despite figures showing availability, COVID patients running for beds: Gujarat HC seeks Govt reply
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court recently took a strong note of complaints of covid patients facing a shortage of beds in state hospitals despite the state government's claims on the availability of beds in the State. The court has asked the govt to file an affidavit explaining why, if beds were vacant, infected persons were unable to get admitted to hospitals.
The Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia, was hearing the suo motu petition on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in the State, where the State government informed the court that of the 79,944 beds at COVID-19 hospitals and other care facilities in the State, 55,783 beds were occupied while the rest were vacant.
"Complaints are coming, maybe you are also receiving [complaints] that patients are not being admitted because there is no vacancy in hospitals. Beds are not available. The figures shared by you suggest that even designated hospitals have vacant beds," the Bench told the State. "If that is true then why are people running around, finding sources and recommendations for getting hospitals beds and treatment?"
The bench also sought govt. rely on complaints of delayed response of 108 ambulances in case of critical patient transfer and why critical patients were not taken in by government hospitals if they arrived in private vehicles instead of '108' ambulances.
According to a The Hindu report, In the government's defense, lawyer Manisha Shah said that although beds were available at other facilities, some were at a distance from patients' homes, and people wanted to get admitted to specific hospitals, which resulted in full occupancy in those hospitals.
Ms. Shah also assured the court that the government has ensured adequate supply of medical oxygen and there was no scarcity of the life-saving gas at present.
A special control room has been set up at the Chief Minister's Office to monitor oxygen supply to hospitals, she informed the court during the hearing, the report adds.
On a query raised by the Bench about RT-PCR testing, Ms. Shah informed that all districts had the facility to conduct the tests and the government conducted an average of 1.65 lakh tests, including around 75,000 RT-PCR tests, which are considered more accurate than the rapid antigen test,reports The Hindu.
According to the report, Senior advocate Percy Kavina, who was allowed to share the views of other High Court lawyers, expressed displeasure over the Centre's decision to discontinue a scheme providing insurance cover to "corona warriors" under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKP).
"Only 287 insurance claims were processed under the PMGKP, which is now being shut. Just 287 claims across the country? Though the new scheme is coming, why not continue the PMGKP?" Ms. Kavina asked.
After hearing all submissions, the court asked the government to file an affidavit and scheduled the next hearing on April 27.