Observing that the COVID-19 situation in Kerala is serious, the Kerala High Court on Friday directed the State government to take steps to cut the cost of treatment for the virus at private hospitals.
The court gave this direction while considering a plea seeking a directive to introduce affordable universal rates for COVID-19 treatment.
Expressing concern over exorbitant amounts charged by the private hospitals, the court directed the government to discuss the matter with the managements of the hospitals and inform its decision to the court by next Tuesday.
Counsel for the government informed the court that it would consider further reducing the rates.
The counsel submitted that the government had last year announced the rates at which the private hospitals could admit and treat COVID-19 positive cases.
Also, the court referred to the experience of a virus-infected patient who was treated at a private hospital.
The court said the patient had commented that he could defeat COVID but not the exorbitant bill charged by the hospital.
According to the government, the state's COVID-19 caseload crossed the 15-lakh mark on Thursday as 38,607 people tested positive in the highest single day surge.