The Supreme Court on Thursday instructed that elderly people be prioritised in admissions and treatment at private hospitals as well as government medical institutions amid the coronavirus pandemic, reported PTI.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and RS Reddy altered its earlier order of August 4, in which the court had instructed only government hospitals to prioritise elderly people. “We direct that the priority with reference to admission contemplated in order dated August 4, 2020, to the elderly people should also be given in the private hospitals,” the court said, according to PTI. “List the matter after four weeks.”

During the proceedings, senior advocate Ashwani Kumar, the petitioner in-person, told the bench that priority in admission to the elderly should be given in all private hospitals. The bench took note of the submissions that except Punjab and Odisha no other state had provided details on the steps taken after the court’s directives.

The Supreme Court granted three weeks to all states to reply to the new suggestions that Kumar submitted to provide relief to the senior citizens. The senior advocate submitted that the states had to issue fresh Memorandum of Procedures in adherence to the court’s directions, adding that incorporating these orders would serve the greater public interest.

Last year, the Supreme Court had instructed that all eligible elderly person should be paid pensions regularly, and states should provide them medicines, masks, sanitisers and other essential commodities amid the coronavirus crisis.

India on Thursday reported 17,407 new coronavirus cases, pushing the country’s tally to 1,11,56,923, Union health ministry data showed. The toll jumped by 89 to 1,57,435. The count of active cases stood at 1,73,413, while the number of recoveries reached 1,08,26,075. The active case rate was 1.53%, while the recovery rate stood at 97.06%. The fatality rate was at 1.41%.