Observing that "the issues which arise are of very urgent nature", the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday sought information from the state government on a list of issues pertaining to availability of medical facilities for treatment of patients tested positive for coronavirus, in Bengaluru urban district.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar said "We understand that it is a short time for you (state) to collect all the information but there is an emergency situation arising everyday."
The bench also referred to a report which appeared in the Times of India, on July 2, highlighting the case of a patient being denied admission in 18 hospitals and then breathing his last at the doorstep of Victoria hospital, as the hospital did not receive intimation from civic authorities. The bench said "The report indicates a sorry state of affairs. Assuming the report is correct, the state will have to look into the report and order necessary inquiry."
The details sought from the state government are on the following issues:
1: Total number of beds available within the limits of BBMP. Total Number of beds in ICU with or without a ventilator facility. The availability of beds both in private and public facilities will have to be considered.
2: Manner in which availability of bed is notified for members of the public.
3: Whether any mechanism is available in the city or any authority is nominated which will ensure that a person who is tested positive for novel coronavirus is immediately admitted to a hospital wherever hospitalization is necessary. Whether any centralized mechanism is created so that without any loss of time a person infected with COVID-19 secures admission to hospital or COVID-19 centre.
4: The extent of facilities available at COVID-19 centres by state and BBMP or in the hospitals run by the state or BBMP.
5: When a person infected with Covid-19 requires immediate hospitalization in what manner he can secure services of an ambulance at the earliest. Whether the state has imposed any embargo on rates of treatments for treating COVID-19 patients in private hospitals and establishments.
6: Any Written protocol or Sop is available for giving decent burial or decent cremation to dead bodies of person infected with covid-19 and whether any scientific opinion is available on the question of whether a person who touches dead body of the person infected with covid-19 has chances of getting infected with covid-19.
The bench gave the direction while hearing petitions filed by Advocate Geeta Misra, NGO Bharat Punarutthana Trust and suo-motu petition initiated based on letters written by Advocate P Anu Chengappa and Advocates Association of Bengaluru.