The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday pointed out that the number of beds available to coronavirus patients in the state capital Bengaluru was not proportional to the demand and called the situation "alarming". There has been a calamitous surge in infections due to an aggressive second wave of COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the country. The hospitals have been swamped and the state's health infrastructure has come under tremendous pressure amid an exponential rise in the number of cases.
A bench with Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar continued hearing the case today that had been taken up suo moto after the court received a letter last week detailing the difficulty in getting hospital beds, oxygen and the alleged black marketing of drugs.
On being informed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) about the number of beds available in the hospitals, the court said the increase in bed availability since the previous hearing "had only been marginal" and described the situation as "alarming".
Bengaluru now has over 2 lakh active Covid cases and the health system - normally one of the best in the country - has not been able to cope with the demand for hospital beds, oxygen and medicines.
Hearing another petition, the High Court asked the state to make sure that people with disabilities get the Covid vaccination on priority. The countrywide vaccination for those above 18 opens on May 1.
On delay in getting admission as patients could not produce RT-PCR reports, the court ordered the state government last week to take action against labs that do not furnish the results in 24 hours.
It had also asked the state to appoint a nodal agency and a nodal officer to ensure smooth supply of Remdesivir, a key anti-viral drug, adding that officers be appointed to ensure that black marketing of the drug is stopped.