Hyderabad, May 17 : The Telangana High Court on Monday directed the state health authorities to ensure that there are no steroids in medicine kits being distributed among people with Covid-19 symptoms.
Stating that Mucormycorsis or Black Fungus is a matter of concern, the court observed that steroids should not be given without doctor's prescription.
Hearing a batch of public interest litigations on Covid-related matters, a bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy asked the health department to be cautious in view of the reports that misuse of steroids is causing Black Fungus among Covid-19 patients.
When the court wanted to know if the medicine kits being distributed contain steroids, Advocate General B. S. Prasad said he would check with the officials concerned and inform the court.
The bench also asked the government to submit a detailed report as to how it plans to tackle Black Fungus.
The court was also informed that Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Hospital at King Koti in Hyderabad has been designated to treat Black Fungus infected people.
The court also wanted to know from the government about its strategy to deal with the likely third wave of Covid. The court suggested that the government should prepare in advance for third wave.
It also directed the court to constitute a task force to look into complaints that private hospitals are fleecing patients. There should be a task force where an aggrieved patient could lodge the complaint.
It also wanted the government to fix maximum rates for Covid-related treatment in hospitals to stop them from overcharging patients. When the government brought to the notice of the court that it has already issued a GO in this regard, the court felt that a fresh GO is required in view of the changes in treatment modalities. It wanted to know why there is no capping for various medical investigations and rates for PPE kits and other items.
It asked the government to issue in 48 hours a GO fixing the maximum charges and display it on official website.
The court once again pulled up the state authorities for not doing enough tests. It wanted to know why the health department is not conducting one lakh tests daily despite repeated directions.
The court also expressed its unhappiness over the department not providing break up of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests in the report submitted to it.
When the petitioners brought to the court's notice that 15 out of 500 teachers contracted Coronavirus while attending duties for recently held elections in the state and later died, the court directed the government to treat the deceased teachers as 'Covid warriors'. It wanted the government to extend all benefits to the families of these teachers which are being given to other 'Covid warriors'.
It also felt that community kitchens are the need of the hour. When the whole family is infected, someone has to reach to their door with food. It suggested that the resident welfare associations and various housing societies need to be roped in for Covid relief.
Some petitioners brought to the court's notice that 390 hospitals on Telangana dashboard don't treat Covid patients. The court remarked that this is misleading and asked the authorities to update the dashboard.
The Director General of Police also submitted a report on implementation of lockdown and the action taken against the violators.
The police also submitted to the court videos taken at different places in Hyderabad on the occasion of Eid to monitor any violations during lockdown. The bench expressed its satisfaction over the effective implementation of lockdown during the festival and patted the police commissioners of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda.
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