Mumbai: Observing that there is a huge disparity in the distribution of Remdesivir across the state, the Bombay High Court on Monday ordered the Maharashtra government to supply 10,000 vials to Nagpur district by 8 pm on Monday. The HC even questioned as to how Thane district received more vials of Remdesivir than Nagpur, despite the latter having more Covid cases.
A bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Shreeram Modak said the state must ensure that the supply and distribution of the injection is done as per the requirement. The judges even observed that the present Covid crisis is much worst than that of last year.
"The spike in covid-19 cases being witnessed by Nagpur is of the steepest kind, not seen even during 1st phase of the pandemic, last year. The scenario has turned to its worst ever," the bench noted.
During the hearing of this suo motu PIL, the bench was informed by advocate Tushar Mandlekar appearing for one of the intervenors, that there has been a disparity in the distribution of the vials. He said that Thane received 5,328 Remdesivir vials when it had 2,448 patients whereas Nagpur was given only 3,326 vials as against 8,250 patients.
Noting this, the bench said it did not understood the "rational and logic" behind such a decision.
"There has been a disparity in the distribution of Remdesivir to various districts of Nagpur and drugs aren't being released in proportion to the requirements. We are also not aware of the requirement placed every day by the State to the Centre," the judges said.
"It is obvious that the shortage has occurred because there has been a not so rational distribution of Remdesivir by the State committee. It is also brought to our notice that not a single vial was allocated to any covid hosp in Nagpur on April 17 and only 500 vials were given to three hospitals by the Nagpur collector," the bench noted.
The bench further noted that the rest 117 hospitals were not given a single vial of the injection.
"Denial of Remdesivir drug to so many patients in 117 hsopitals has severely affected the management of patients.
We must point out that it is the solemn duty of the state to save and preserve precious life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India," the judges said.
"Every doctor at a government hospital is duty-bound to extend medical assistance. There must be no delay in discharging medical assistance to those in need," the bench added.
As far as the shortage of oxygen in the district is concerned, the bench ordered the Nagpur civic chief to allow private hospitals to produce oxygen and set up units in their premises.
The bench further noted that several Covid patients are made to stand in serprentine lines outside hospitals for their admission process. The bench, accordingly, ordered the authorities to put up temporary pandals and make proper arrangements for such patients to wait for their turn.
The judges were further informed that the district and state authorities have issued orders requisitioning services of medial and para-medical persons. The judges clarified that if any of these persons refuse to abide by the requisition orders, it would not hesitate to issues orders to arrest them.
Meanwhile, the bench was also informed that there are instances wherein entire families have been infected and are relying upon outside food. But they face several difficulties as the night curfew starts from 8pm onwards.
The bench, accordingly, the food outlets must be permitted to deliver food at the doorsteps even during night curfew hours.
The matter would be next heard on Wednesday.