Order of the High Court of Jharkhand regarding lack of medicines and machines to tackle COVID-19 in Jharkhand, 17/04/2021

Order of the High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi in the matter of Court on its own motion Vs State of Jharkhand & Others dated 17/04/2021.

The matter related to non-availability of CT-Scan machine - a machine to detect the infection in the lungs of a person suffering from COVID-19 virus at RIMS in Jharkhand as also the RT-PCR machine and paucity of scientists and laboratory technicians at RIMS, whose services are required for testing the persons suffering from COVID-19 virus. The issue of non-working condition of electric crematorium was also raised by the counsel for the petitioners.

The court has been informed by the counsel representing the petitioner that there was acute shortage of medicines for treating Covid-19 patients such as Remdesivir injection, Favipiravir, Doxycycline tablet and even the tablets of Fluguard, Vitamin-C and Zinc are not available in the open market. They have further submitted that Remdesivir injection and Favipiravir tablets are being black marketed at high cost.

The High Court of Jharkhand directed the state authorities to inform on the steps taken upto April 17, 2021 to secure adequate supply of Remdesivir injection to combat Covid-19 pandemic, as also steps taken for adequate supply of Favipiravir tablets. The Drug Controller, Jharkhand has been directed to apprise the court as to on what basis statement has been made that there is rationing of Remdesivir injection by the Central Government and if any such communication is available with the Drug Controller, the same must be brought on record, as also about the criteria fixed for earmarking such medicine shops/hospitals.

Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi and of other districts was ordered by the High Court to monitor the rate of CT-Scan and other pathological tests, which is being charged by private hospitals in order to put checks in charging exorbitant rates, by reflecting the rates in daily newspapers.

"We hope and trust that the state will take all sincere steps so that a patient may be provided with all medical support which is required for persons suffering Covid-19," the court in its order, April 17, 2021 said.