THE Allahabad High Court Tuesday expressed displeasure at the affidavit filed by the Uttar Pradesh government in response to court’s directions relating to Covid19 management in the state.
A bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar said the required information asked for by the court was not provided to them nor did the government comply with the court’s directions passed during the previous hearing.
The bench said the statistics which had been given in the affidavit regarding testing in state surprisingly disclosed that the number had reduced.
It added the availability of ambulances with advanced life support systems is also very little, considering the number of districts in the state.
The court said even the health bulletin issued by Covid hospitals – both government and private -through the district-based portal had not been updated.
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It observed the proper procurement and supply of the life savings drugs and life support systems like BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks had not been made available to the various hospitals, though the supply availability of life-saving drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumap had been shown to have been made.
Even the details regarding oxygen production in the state regarding 22 hospitals had not been given, the court said.
It said no details had also been given about food supplied to the hospitals of Level-1, Level-2 and Level-3 category. The only fact stated was that Rs.100 had been allocated per patient in Level-1 category hospitals.
“It is a well-known fact that the Covid patient needs highly nutritious food that should include fruits and milk in his daily diet and we fail to understand as to how with Rs.100 per capita budget the government is managing three times meal in Level-1 category hospital with 2100 required calories. No details have been given regarding Level-2 and Level-3 hospitals”, the court said.
The court said it wanted food details with the calories count of each item in respect of the hospitals of all the category.
It further found that the figures of death had not been shown date-wise between 19 April 2021 and 2 May 2021.
“If we consider the report of Nodal Officers of Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Kanpur , the scene emerges otherwise than the picture shown with figures of deaths. We will deal with the details after considering our Nodal Officer’s report on the next date”, the court said.
Relief granted to Sun Hospital
The high court yesterday granted protection to Lucknow’s Sun hospital and its staff from coercive action pursuant to an FIR lodged against them by the district magistrate for falsely putting out an oxygen shortage alarm.
It was submitted by the hospital that on 1st and 2nd May 2021, there was no supply of oxygen cylinders by the district administration and the district magistrate had made false statements about the supply of oxygen to the hospital.
The advocate for the hospital added that instead of considering the reply and verifying the facts, the District Magistrate, Lucknow had rushed to lodge the FIR against the hospital to show compliance with the court’s order.
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On May 8, the high court had asked the District Magistrate, Lucknow to submit an action-taken report against two private hospitals if, in his final opinion, they deliberately endangered the lives of innocent people and created panic to serve their interests when they claimed publicly that they were running short of oxygen. This had taken place without the hospitals being present in court.
In the intervention application that it filed subsequently, Sun Hospital told the court it was ready to show their stock register where details of the oxygen cylinders received were entered. It further submitted that in the wake of the FIR, the hospital management was being subjected to harassment and was unable to treat Covid patients who were admitted to the hospital.
The high court in respect of the rural and urban parts of districts of Bahraich, Barabanki, Bijnor, Jaunpur and Shravasti, directed the state government to disclose the following to the court:
1. Total population of each city;
2. Number of level-1 and level-3 hospitals with details of beds;
3. Number of doctors, anaesthetists in level-2 and level-3 hospitals;
4. Number of medical and paramedical staffs
5. Number of BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks
6. Rural population figures tehsil-wise,
7. Number of community health centres,
8. Availability of beds in community health centres
9. Number of life-saving gadgets like High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks, BiPAP machines;
10. Number of oxygen concentrators with capacity details in community health centres; and
11. Number of medical and para-medical staff.
It said the government should also disclose in its affidavit the a number of tests done in these places (urban and rural) and laboratories from where the tests were being performed. The data had to be given from 31st March 2021 to date.
Originally Published in The Leaflet