The Andhra Pradesh HC, a few days back, heard a Public Interest Litigation regarding six patients who tested positive for COVID-19 admitted in the ASRAM Hospital, Eluru. The case was taken up on account of the various reports of non-cooperation of the hospital staff due to the shortage of medical supplies and PPE kits required to treat the patients. The division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sri Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy heard the case Suo Motu to address all the medical facilities in the State.
Keeping in mind the Supreme Court judgment in the writ petition of Alakh Alok Srivastava v. Union of India, where the State Government was directed to provide all the medical facilities required for the patient as well as the medical staff, the High Court ordered for a full report. The report was to have all the details of the patients and their treatment while also providing the details of the medical staff treating them and the safety measures taken thereof.
The Court also sought a report on all the medical facilities available in the ASRAM Hospital, Eluru. Further, the Additional District and Sessions Judge was asked to visit the hospital and report on the available treatment facilities. The case was to be heard again on 2nd April 2020, with respect to the reports provided in Court.
The patients were subsequently moved to Government Facilities the next day and the State Government had reported on the supply of required PPE kits and other medical facilities. The quality of treatment of the patients in the Government Facilities is to be reported in the next hearing of the case.
Despite such pressing situations, the Andhra Pradesh High Court continues to hear cases online through a video conferencing. With the number of positive cases rising rapidly every day, the Court has taken initiatives to ensure that the rate of transmission is effectively reduced by directing the State Government to comply with rules and quality standards to keep both patients and medical workers safe.
The High Court has taken sufficient measures to ensure that the State Government is complying with the rules of safety issued by the Central Government. By requesting the reports of patients and their treatments regularly, the judiciary ensured the quality of treatment and safety to effectively contain the situation.
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