Control Covid-19 situation at ground level to curb panic, Bombay HC directs Maharashtra govt | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday told the Maharashtra government to take control of the Covid-19 situation on the ground due to “confusion and panic” among people with regard to shortage of Remdesivir injection, beds, oxygen and delay in getting tests results.
“At the ground level, people are facing difficulties,’’ said a bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and Girish Kulkarni hearing a PIL by advocate Sneha Marjadi on the plight of patients and their relatives and her personal experience.
Advocate-general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni said the supply situation is in control for a few days after receiving 2.69 lakh vials of Remdesivir.
He said there is a public misconception that Remdesivir is a magical drug for cure of Covid-19.
“It reduces the requirement of oxygen. People are insisting `give me Remdesivir’,” he said, blaming the “middle-class and higher class’’ for the shortage saying they bought vials in excess.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh said “the mindset is it (Ramdesivir) has to be given to all patients.”
The judges said there appears to be confusion among public and medical personnel.
“Today it is a situation of panic,” said Justice Kulkarni.
The judges said proper advisories must be issued in the print and electronic media due to contrary messages circulating on social media platforms.
The CJ then said, “Today when I was coming to court, I found people loitering with masks below their nose.”
He referred to a last year’s report that said people have to be careful till June 30.
“Had we not lowered our guard, we would not have seen this day,’’ he added.
The AG said 1,200 metric tonnes oxygen is daily manufactured and the rest is imported from other states to meet daily demand of 1,500 MT while will soon go up to 2,000 MT.
He denied shortage of beds saying in public and BMC hospitals they are available.
“The middle class and higher class want beds in private hospitals of their choice. This is mainly projected by the media as a shortage of beds.”
Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, appearing for BMC, said the civic body has systems in place to supply oxygen to all hospitals in the city. He also said war rooms are set up in 24 ward areas to assist in finding beds.
The judges questioned the delay in results of RT-PCR and antigen tests and need for doctor’s prescription.
The AG said nearly 2.70 lakh tests are daily conducted.
Marjadi’s husband Nirav said he was asked to get a doctor’s prescription.
“We can’t disbelieve practicing advocates,” said the CJ, adding that the situation is such that those coming to take RT-PCR test will have to put on the camera or video to prove it.
Adjourning the hearing to May 4, the judges asked the Centre and state to file their replies.
They said they will pass directions including a temporary ban on smoking at least till the Covid crises is over.
“As it is we are posed with a national challenge. Covid is a national challenge,’’ the CJ said.

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