HC seeks MP govt's reply on COVID-19 situation amid second wave

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Jabalpur, Apr 15 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday sought a reply from the state government on various issues it has to deal with amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan sought a reply from the state government on the matter after hearing the amicus curiae and other counsels in the bunch of petitions related to various issues of the pandemic.

The pleas, including a suo motu petition registered by the High Court, were listed for urgent hearing due to the situation arising amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amicus Curiae senior advocate Naman Nagrath said.

The court needs to issue fresh orders on various matters such as availability of oxygen and medicine, overcharging by the private hospitals and restoration of special COVID-19 centres, he said.

The court had passed various orders to deal with the situation in the first wave of pandemic, but now the same need to be revisited, he said.

During the hearing, an issue of administrative officers not permitting supply of a requisite drug to patients even when prescribed by doctors was also discussed, Nagrath said.

The court sought clarification from the government counsel as to who decides which drug patients need to be given, whether it is the doctor or administrative officer, he said.

To this, managing director of the National Health Mission Chhavi Bharadwaj said if a doctor prescribes any drug to a patient the administrative officers cannot refuse the supply of the same to the patient or the hospital, he said.

The letter petition of Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha on issues such as giving separate treatment to critical COVID-19 patients, asymptomatic and mildly-affected patients, among other matters was clubbed with the petitions for hearing.

The court has listed the petitions for orders on April 19, 2021. PTI COR MAS ARU