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Regular Inspection Should Be Mandatory In COVID-19 Care Hospitals: Patna High Court

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Shivani Kaushik vs Union of India & Ors

Rohit Kumar vs State of Bihar & Ors

Gaurav Kumar Singh vs Union of India & Ors

Facts of the Case

Patna Government had given consent for the inspection on NMCH during the online hearing. On 20th April 2021, P.K. Singh and Shri Rajesh Kumar were on an inspection at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH). They briefly checked the background, infrastructure, equipment, manpower, oxygen supply, and certain gaps. The Secretary of BHRC was required to report by 21st April 2021 then join the court hearing by 4.30 pm.

Queries Raised and Responded

Learned Senior Counsel Mr Ranjit Kumar said that in the present scenario, Bihar has an acute shortage of oxygen. Further, he said that no action has been taken by district magistrates. He also stated to the Court, the comprehensive plan for more supply of Oxygen, which included the installation of Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA),  for the same request had been made to the Government of India. Further, he added that due to increasing cases in Bihar, the government should distribute 300MT for Bihar. Mr Ranjit Kumar pointed out  ‘TrueNat’ which is a small chip-based machine that can give confirmation for COVID-19 Infection. He stated that the RT-PCR test should be increased.

Court Analysis

The Government of Bihar is unable to supply more oxygen in Patna. It is true that Patna is the capital city of Bihar State. Due to this, there is a normal tendency of people to rush to the hospital which has better health care facilities. Further, the Court observed the availability and the mode in which the oxygen is supplied to hospitals. The State has planned to supply DCHCs and DCH. During the court proceedings, this was discussed as a core issue relating to the non-availability of oxygen in private hospitals. The Court took serious note of the facts submitted in the report given by the Director of  AIIMS and Secretary of BHRC regarding the less supply of  oxygen in the State, which is an important medical requirement for COVID-19 patients.

Court’s Decision

Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) is requested to do regular inspections on CCCs, DCHC, and DCHs. This will ensure the  recent COVID-19 patients, availability of COVID beds, Oxygen beds, ICU beds, and number of Ventilators, by doing this the State would increase cases category-wise, then take necessary steps ahead. For future proceedings, The District Magistrate, Patna, and The District Magistrate, Muzaffarpur are requested to join the court on 23rd April 2021 at 4.30 pm.


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