Shimla, May 26
Himachal Pradesh High Court cautioned the state of Himachal Pradesh to conduct Covid testing to the tune of 20 to 30 thousand per day on the war footing failing which Covid pandemic situation may go out of Control.
Passing a two page order into a public interest litigation through video conferencing on Tuesday Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy and Justice Anoop Chitkara directed the state to comply with the court order on the next date of hearing on Jun 1 in a regular Court hearing at 1100 hrs.
Court observed ” As per yesterday’s (Monday) report, its only eleven thousand tests. If RTPCR tests are not conducted in war footing i.e more than twenty to thirty thousand per day then the fatalities will proportionately go higher and by the time the RTPCR test is conducted, the incubation period will exceed and that may go out of control of the government.” Earlier to this additional advocate General submitted that RTPCR tests are been conducted at an average of fourteen thousand per day.
‘Opening of ICU beds by converting PHCs is of paramount importance’
The bench also directed the state to make submission what steps it has taken to convert Primary Health Centers into ICU hospitals with Oxygen facilities. Assistant Solicitor General of India submitted that Union Govt directed the state of Himachal to convert PHCs into 3- Bedded ICU hospitals with Oxygen facilities. The Court observed that state Govt has again to accelerate its working in combating Covid-19.
On the State’s submission that it has opened some makeshift hospitals with Oxygen facilities having 1000 beds, court said that it is highly appreciated but decentralized opening of ICU beds by converting PHCs is of paramount importance.
“Accepting the plea that ICU beds are not available in Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti district the court directed the state to immediately make submission; whether ICU beds are provided to Covid patient in the both aforesaid areas,” informed Advocate Vandana Mishra.
‘High morality rate’ is a cause of concern
She said that the court also observed that ‘High morality rate’ is a cause of concern, and government should take measures to bring it under control.
Earlier the court had pulled up the state Government over failing to utilize as many as 240 ventilators which was lying idle with it since the first wave of Covid pandemic.
The PIL which was taken on court’s own motion alleged that there are a number of deaths in the state due to insufficient ICUs, Oxygenate bed capacity alleging that about nine Covid patients died in want of Oxygen or ICU beds in Sirmour district recently.