The Gujarat High Court on Thursday observed that the state's figures of COVID-19 positive patients did not match the number of people who appeared to be affected with the novel coronavirus on the ground.
During the more than hour-long hearing, the court further pointed that if the statistics projected by the state were correct, then there was no reason for the shortage of Remdesivir – the anti-viral drug used to treat corona patients.
The state is not as alive to the situation as it should have been, the high court noted, adding that the "tsunami" of corona cases as on date could have been avoided if only its suggestions were given due consideration at the relevant time.
The high court's observations come on the day the state logged 7,410 cases with 73 deaths. The number of active cases in the state now stands at 39,250.
The high court was hearing the matter where it had taken suo motu cognisance of the surge of COVID-19 positive cases which has led to delay in testing and acute scarcity of hospital beds, oxygen supply and shortage of medicines like Remdesivir.
At its last hearing on April 12, the high court had pulled up the state government and noted that the picture was not as "rosy" as it was painting it to be.
You can see the high court hearing in the video below.
Figures declared by the state do not match realities on the ground: High Court
The high court did not accept the government's explanation on the acute shortages of oxygen, medicine, hospital facilities to combat COVID in the state. "You have resources, everything is under your control, but they are being wasted," the high court said.
"We have a serious doubt on this figure," the division bench told Trivedi when he submitted that 53 per cent of the beds are occupied. Even if the figures are from April 12, there is so much noise about beds not being available, patients not being admitted in hospitals...How come this figure does not appear to be correct? CJI Nath asked Trivedi.
Trivedi then explained that this figure was particular to Ahmedabad and that there was a strain on certain hospitals because of people's preference to get treated at such selected hospitals only.
"Another reason for this deficit or shortfall (of Remdesivir) could be, the figures (of COVID positive patients) given or declared by the state of covid positive patients is not matching the actual number of cases," CJ Nath added. Either the figures are not correct, or doctors are indiscriminately prescribing Remdesivir for common cold and fever, he added. However, Trivedi blamed the shortfall in availability of Remdesivir on the reduced production by the seven manufacturers.
I fail to understand why people are making a fast buck in these times, CJ Nath said referring to the sale of oxygen on the black market.
Trivedi, however, downplayed the shortages pointed out by the judges and other lawyers participating in the hearing. On shortage of Remdesivir, Trivedi said that the drug is not recognized as one under the Drug Control Act. The drug was made available to combat COVID-19 under emergency rules only because certain studies said that it may have a positive effect, Trivedi added.
CJ Nath observed that the State should not have given Remdesivir so much importance if it was not that relevant and it could be given only in specific conditions. There are a lot of misconceptions about Remdesivir...World Health Organisation (WHO) has a different view about Remdesivir, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has a different view...the State has a different view, the public does not know. The public thinks Remdesivir will save everyone. No, I don't know whether Remdesivir is a life-saving drug or not, or unnecessary hype has been created around this...Unnecessarily Remdesivir has been made like an Amrit," CJ Nath said. The chief justice then directed the state to come out with an exhaustive protocol on the use and benefit of Remdesivir including the conditions under which it could be prescribed and administered.
On the issue of ambulances queuing up outside hospitals, Trivedi said that it was not a result of state failure to provide medical care, but people's insistence to get themselves treated at select hospitals only.
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?