The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that all states should constitute a panel of experts to inspect hospitals to ensure proper care of coronavirus patients, PTI reported. The court added that there should be uniformity in Covid-19 testing rates in all states, and that they should be reasonable.
The Supreme Court asked the Centre to decide on the testing charge itself. “You fix the upper limit,” the court said, according to IANS. “States will do the rest.”
However, it said it could pass orders on installation of CCTVs in hospitals to ensure monitoring of the care given to coronavirus patients. On June 15, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had ordered that CCTV be installed in all wards of all Delhi hospitals where coronavirus patients have been admitted.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday capped the rate of coronavirus tests in Delhi at Rs 2,400 per test, reducing it from the earlier Rs 4,500. Delhi has seen a huge surge of cases this month.
The top court had taken suo motu cognisance of a matter related to proper treatment of coronavirus patients and handling of dead bodies, ANI reported. It said that a team of experts should visit hospitals to check on patient care.
Justice Ashok Bhushan, who was part of the bench, said that it had come to the top court’s notice that the Maharashtra government had issued a circular prohibiting the reports of Covid-19 positive patients from being given to them, Live Law reported. After Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, confirmed that such a circular existed, the Supreme Court that medical reports of persons testing positive should be handed over to them or to their relatives. The counsel for Maharashtra told the court he would advise the state government to withdraw the circular.
Justice Bhushan, however, called a Maharashtra government circular capping testing rates in private laboratories in the state at Rs 2,200 per test “a welcome step”.
But the court did not pass any orders on handling of dead bodies. It said the next hearing will be held in the third week of July.