The Telangana government on Tuesday sought two-weeks time from the High Court for implementation of its orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. The state Chief Secretary and other officials appeared before the Court through video conference and informed it of the various measures taken by the state government to tackle COVID-19.
The Chief Secretary said the state government has launched a mobile app which brings doctors and home isolated patients together.
On July 20, a division bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy had expressed displeasure on the state government over non-implementation of its earlier orders on the issues related to COVID-19 pandemic in the state including adherence to the ICMR guidelines and publication of data with public.
The Chief Secretary informed the court about a Mobile App which is currently being implemented as a pilot project by the state government wherein each doctor will be assigned 50 asymptomatic patients at homes for regular monitoring.
Around 140 doctors are available online to guide the patients on the app and shall recommend medicines and precautions to be taken by persons who are affected by COVID-19, the Chief Secretary informed the court.
The Chief Secretary further informed the Court that the government provided a facility wherein people can complain with regard to overcharging, faulty billing, non-coverage of medical insurance, lack of proper and sufficient services, refusal of beds or with the safety concerns within the private hospitals.
According to him, the government received 726 complaints on the functioning of the private hospitals and all such complaints will be examined and necessary action will be initiated against the erring hospitals.
The Chief Secretary informed the bench that some hotels were asked to provide sufficient number of rooms to accommodate patients and their family members.
So, far 867 such rooms were made available out of which 248 rooms were currently occupied.
The bench was hearing a batch of PILs seeking directions to the state government to provide required medical equipment, medicines and trained staff to the designated COVID-19 hospitals and to take steps to curtail the spread of the virus.
A PIL filed by advocate Srikishan Sharma has, among others, sought a direction to the state government to take action against the private hospitals for allegedly charging exorbitant rates.
It also sought a directive on issuing guidelines for maintaining transparency in the matter of treatment and billing for the patients.
The court directed the Telangana government to formulate a government order (GO) restricting the charges collected by private hospitals for various treatments.
The Chief Secretary said they were in talks with the private hospitals in this regard.
The court directed the government to report the compliance of all its directions on or before August 13 while posting the matter to the same date for further hearing.
Earlier, the Court had expressed unhappiness over the number of COVID-19 tests being done, as compared to other states and also directed the government to provide information on all the government and private COVID-19 designated hospitals on availability of beds, ventilators, oxygen beds among related details.
It had directed that Collectors publish on a daily basis, the information on the number of positive cases in their respective districts.