New Delhi: The Tripura High Court, taking cognisance of news reports in local dailies, has asked the government to provide details on the number of active Covid cases in the state, with a possible district-wise break-up and also the number of fully-equipped Cronavirus treatment centres set up and other details.
Local newspapers have highlighted the shortcomings in the public healthcare system in the state and have highlighted the plight of patients.
The court has asked the government counsel to provide the following information in an affidavit:
“(i) The number of active corona cases in the State, if possible with district wise break-up.
(ii) The number of corona treatment centres with break-up of which among them are fully equipped with necessary infrastructure, medicines and medical and paramedical staff.
(iii) Whether there is any private hospital in the state which has been given permission to admit corona virus patients. If yes, the maximum capacity of such hospital(s) to admit such patients and the treatment charges which these hospitals have been authorized by the Government to collect from the patients.
(iv) Some newspaper articles also report a lack of communication between the patients who are admitted and their family members. The affidavit, therefore, shall provide the details of steps taken by the administration to ensure that the relatives of the patients are updated about the health condition and the treatment being given to the patient as well as to ensure the communication between the patient and his/her relatives.
(v) The affidavit shall also provide the details of the fund allocation at different Government hospitals treating corona patients. The break-up of the funds available for corona treatment and treatment for other ailments if bifurcated shall be provided.
(vi) The affidavit shall also give the details of availability of essential equipment such as oxygen supply devices, PPE Kits for doctors and paramedical staff etc.
(vii) The affidavit shall also contain details of availability of doctors and paramedical staff at each corona treatment centre and the assessed requirement of such medical and paramedical staff as also the basis on which such assessment has been made by the State.
(viii) We are sure the Government would address the concerns of the general public as are projected by the print media and take such measures as are necessary to improve the condition in Government treatment centres.”
The bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra noted that as per official records available with the court from the government declaration, the number of patients admitted at AGMC and GBP hospital, Agartala was higher than the total number of beds available and just 19 ventilators were available in the entire state all at the same hospitals.
The High Court is of the view that if a situation is as mentioned in the newspapers, shifting the patients from a remote area for treatment would become a challenge.
The court sought response from the government by September 18, 2020.
-India Legal Bureau