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India

Updated on: Sunday, May 24, 2020, 08:49 PM IST

Coronavirus in Gujarat: As fatalities cross 800, HC compares Ahmedabad's Civil Hospital to 'dungeon'

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India continues to reel under the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak, even as the recovery rate increases and the rate at which cases are doubling slows down.

One of the worst affected states is Gujarat, which according to data given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday evening, has recorded 13664 positive cases and 829 fatalities. The only state with a higher number of fatalities is Maharashtra which has so far recorded 47190 positive cases.

On Saturday, the Gujarat High Court pulled up Ahmedabad's Civil Hospital over its handling of COVID-19 patients. The High Court called the hospital that has recorded over 350 deaths related to the virus a "dungeon'' that poor and helpless patients were forced to rely on.

""As we said earlier that the Civil Hospital is meant to treat the patients. However, it appears that as on date, it is as good as dungeon. May be even worse than a dungeon. Unfortunately, the poor and helpless patients have no option," an NDTV report quoted the court order to say.

Reportedly, the High Court said that most patients in the Civil Hospital were dying after four or more days of treatment. It also criticised the Gujarat Health Minister, wondering how many times he had visited the hospital, or whether he was aware of the situation.

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Earlier, on Friday, the Gujarat High Court has questioned the state government's decision to not allow private laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests, wondering whether this was meant to "artificially control" the data of number of coronavirus cases in the state.

A division bench of Justices J B Pardiwala and I J Vora said the argument that "more number of tests will lead to 70 per cent of the population testing positive for coronavirus, thereby leading to fear psychosis," should not be a ground to refuse or restrict the testing. The High Court has directed the state to procure maximum testing kits to enable both private and government hospitals to carry out coronavirus tests at government rates.

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On Sunday, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi alleged that the state had a "sick" healthcare system, and lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the issue.

"The inefficiency of the Gujarat government in handling Covid crisis shows that it is undermining, under-confident, and under-achieving," he said.

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Published on: Sunday, May 24, 2020, 08:49 PM IST
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