The Madras High Court, on Monday, said that had the authorities made proper plans and taken measures during the last year, the present tsunami of COVID19 infections could have been avoided.
By: Sargam Vohra, B.A. LL.B, IIMT
The Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee of Madras High Court wound up a day-long hearing in a suo motu case taken by the Madras High Court to check the various steps taken by the Tamil Nadu Government to deal with the second wave of COVID 19 pandemic.
The bench, which also included Justice Senthil Ramamoorthy, expressed general satisfaction with the State Government’s actions concerning the availability of oxygen beds, the supply of drugs, and oxygen, among other things.
“You had all of last year to plan and make a decision. If it had been done, we would not be in this situation…. We were lulled into a false sense of security only to be hit by this tsunami of infection now”, Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee orally remarked.
The bench stated that Advocate General Vijay Narayan’s status report painted an “appropriate image” of the hospital beds. The bench, however, cautioned the state against complacency, citing the upward trend in regular COVID incidents.
The state’s submission that it has written to the Central Government objecting to the diversion of oxygen allocation intended for Tamil Nadu to the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana was taken into consideration by the bench. Even though the number of cases in such states was low, the Advocate General stated that they were given more oxygen.
The Advocate General’s submission that only about 25% of COVID infected people need hospital treatment and only about 15% need oxygen beds were also taken into consideration by the bench. Patients, on the other hand, run to hospitals in a panic and claim admission. The Advocate General also said that there was a rush for Remdesivir, although it is not intended to be used by all.
In light of this, the court ordered the State Government to use print and electronic media to raise public consciousness about the “dos and don’ts” of COVID care. During the hearing, CJ Banerjee said, “Remdesivir is not a magic drug.”
The Court ordered that the state government track and regulate prescription costs, as well as the cost of admission to a private hospital, oxygen, and vaccination. The Court expressed concern about the existence of a “VIP” mentality when it came to testing results, hospital admissions, and other matters.