Millennium Post (Kolkata)
‘Tsunami’ of Coronavirus cases in Guj as govt did not listen to court, Centre: HC
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday pulled up the Vijay Rupani-led government, saying that the state was facing a tsunami of coronavirus cases as it did not pay heed to the suggestions made earlier by the court as well as the Centre, and also because the dispensation was not as cautious as it should have been.
A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia also raised doubts over the state government's claims about the availability of beds, testing facilities, medical oxygen and Remdesivir injections.
"In anticipation that the situation may get worse in the future, this court had in February made some suggestions. We told you to get ready with more COVID-designated hospitals, sufficient beds should be available, testing should be increased, make sure people wear masks and strict vigilance at public places, the bench said.
"But, it seems that the state government did not give due consideration to our suggestions. That is why we are seeing a Tsunami of Corona at present. Though the Centre was also continuously reminding the state about it, the government was not as cautious as it should have been," it added.
It was hearing a PIL, taken up suo motu (on its own) a week back, about the coronavirus situation and problems faced by the people.
In his response, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi assured the court that the state government was "serious" and doing everything possible.
On the issue of shortage of Remdesivir injections, a key anti-viral drug, Trivedi said the situation would improve in the days to come as the Centre has recently banned the export on the request of the Gujarat government.
When asked about the testing facilities, the AG informed the court that RT-PCR testing laboratories are there in all the districts, except in Dang.
However, Justice Karia asked Trivedi to crosscheck the government's claims as he pointed out that there is no laboratory in Anand district and samples come to Ahmedabad.
As directed by the court in the previous hearing, Trivedi filed a status report in the form of an affidavit before the bench.
As mentioned in it, Trivedi told the court that out of 71,021 beds available in over 1,000 facilities across the state, COVID-19 patients occupy only 53 per cent beds, while the remaining ones were vacant as on April 12.
Not satisfied by the reply, the bench said, We have serious doubts about this figure. You are saying only 53 per cent are occupied. Yet patients are not being admitted. In that case, how can this figure be true?" asked the Chief Justice.